Of course our first stop early in the morning was a bakery…duh! They had the most delicious croissant which was swirled with blueberries and crumble. No, we didn’t get a picture of that one…it went straight into our stomach. There is something so beautiful about a city like Montepellier early in the morning…before the crowds, before all the shops are even open. We walked through its winding streets, realizing this city was huge but not in an overwhelming way. We ran into a little coffee shop and sat down for a cup of joe and a fresh squeezed OJ. We input a few wineries into our navigator (our super small, super flat navigator has been a huge bonus to have so far…if you travel abroad, do not leave home without it). We were circling back to the main square and saw a local market being set up…we stopped by and picked up some oranges.
Next stop…wine tasting!! Our first place lead us to a little wine château in a small random town. We asked the non-English speaking women to wine taste. She brought us back into a dark room where she had some wines to taste. We were obviously her first customers of the day. As she started showing us the wine, we realized we were in the muscat appellation. Sweet wines…not exactly our first choice for sipping but we were open to try it. After tasting, we asked about her pricing. Most bottles that we had come across so far ranged from 5 euros to 15 euros. Her bottles were 50 euros! We thought maybe we were mis-understanding, was she putting the decimal in the wrong place? Nope…after a few more hand gestures, we realized her bottles were definitely above our budget. We tried to thankfully leave and she explained that we would either give her 10 euros for tasting or buy one of her cheap bottles for 10 euros. We bought it and went onto our next venture.
The countryside was just beautiful…vineyards in every direction. We saw a wine tasting sign, a long driveway and a big farmhouse. We turned in, stopping to take pictures of the enormous vines. A car was heading straight at us on this super narrow dirt road, it stopped when they reached us and rolled his window down. Giff did the same, and in his best French said the word tasting. The man spoke back in French with a bit of broken English and explained that we could park and then ring the bell which would call his wife to assist. We thanked him and parked our car. We saw the bell and rang it…a few moments later a women came out of the farmhouse and greeted us. Her English was broken but better than our French. She talked about their wines and that we were in the muscat appellation where all her wine was made from the same grape but produced different wines. We tasted four types and bought one for 13 euros (her most expensive).
We headed to two more wine tasting rooms before arriving at our timeshare in Canet. Both were cooperatives which meant they purchased grapes from several growers (hundreds sometimes) then blended the grapes, made the wine and sold it. We purchased a bottle at each place…neither were our favorite but it seemed polite to purchase a bottle after tasting.
We finally arrived at our timeshare…I will share our impressions and thoughts on this place tomorrow!