Nine Locks and a Winery Near the Beach…

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 in Photography, The Old Blue Truck, Travel
Nine Locks and a Winery Near the Beach…

Those of you who follow this story will know of our previous adventures on the Canal du Midi, which runs ‘between the two seas’ from the Atlantic port of Bordeaux to the Mediterranean port of Sete. Béziers is the hometown of Pierre-Paul Riquet (who designed and built the canal during the last half of the 17th century) – and also the location of the famous 9 Locks of Fonserannes…

Later in the day we drove to Narbonne-Plage to visit a winery we were told was ‘showing promise’. It was the Troubador who told us – we should have known… All the details and links are below…

x_fonserannes2In Béziers, the set of 9 locks, built in 1697, is the most spectacular on the entire 240km Canal du Midi, whether by number of locks, or by crossed altitude: 21.5 metres high and 300 metres long. Its succession of waterfalls and panoramic views of the city of Béziers, make it very special.

The final lock at the bottom allowed access to the Orb River, but is no longer in service. There were two more locks downstream which is why it is sometimes called the 9 (or 10) Locks of Fonserannes. Today, only 7 are still in use. In July and August, Fonserannes locks see a traffic of between 55 and 60 boats per day.

Now – to the winery…

Back towards Narbonne – missed our turning for the beach. This meant driving all the way around the Massif de La Clape mountain range.

Through Narbonne-Plage (The French, like the English, don’t do beaches well) and back up the coast in search of Chateau d’Angles. We had been given the owner’s name, and we met Eric Fabre and some of the family… but the Troubadour forgot to tell us who he was.

The following is a quote from the website of one of their English agents

The Estate is owned and the wines made, by the renowned winemaker Eric Fabre, who spent 8 years as Technical Director at Chateau Lafite Rothschild and a further 6 years at Chateau La Cardonne which he took from a lesser known Medoc label to the highest accolades in that time. Judging by the awards and medals now being showered on the wines, it is clear that Eric Fabre is now being justly rewarded at Château d’Anglès.

Stunning wines, and for once I wasn’t driving. I’ve never been a spitter…

Back to Castelnau-d’Aude at sunset, picked up Florence from her studio – and to Homps, on the Canal du Midi, for dinner.

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