Some 2,000 years ago, Roman soldiers were the first to plant vines in Languedoc. Viticulture has endured over the centuries, and more than two thousand years later, Languedoc is today the largest wine region in the world and offers more than 60 IGP and AOP appellations.
Located in the far west of Languedoc, on the foothills of the Montagne Noire, 10 minutes north of Carcassonne, Château La Villatade consists of an Occitan house, whose construction dates back to the middle of the 17th century, built around a large square courtyard surrounded by its vineyard and 130 hectares of unspoiled nature on gently sloping hills with fields of olive trees, pine forests and scrubland.
A New Life
In the middle of the twentieth century the estate still exploited almost 300 hectares of vines and produced enormous volumes of wine in view of the huge old stone vats still present on the site. In 2016 the vineyard was only 11 Ha.
It was then that Richard and Sophie, his wife, took over the Estate. After 30 years spent in new technologies, they decided to sell their business, to leave their urban lifestyle in the Paris region to live closer to nature, between vineyards and scrubland.
Passionate about sustainable development, they fell in love with this magnificent wine estate surrounded by a beautiful wilderness with scents of thyme and lavender. And they wanted their vineyard to comply with the principles of biodynamics: reasoned, clean and environmentally friendly viticulture.
Château La Villatade vineyard covers today 16 hectares (40 acres). The vines are planted at a rate of 4000 vines per hectare (1600 per acre). Two thirds of our vines are around thirty years old. The rest are young vines of 5 years old.
Our vineyard plots are all located around the property, surrounded by woods and flowery scrublands. The wild scents of thyme, rosemary and lavender will get to the berries of the grapes, bringing their aromas to our wines.
The vineyard is cultivated in compliance with the HVE specifications (high environmental value) and is certified HVE3. This is the most demanding level of the environmental certification system for agricultural and wine-growing holdings. The HVE label allows consumers to be sure that the wine they are tasting is a quality wine from clean and environmentally responsible agriculture.
And we work on qualitative production with low yields of 25 hl per hectare (10 hl per acre) in order to bring the grapes' aromatic richness and higher concentration.
The work in the vines and in the cellar is carried out in a traditional way with respect for the environment and the consumer.
The Olive Grove
The 300 olive trees of the property are spread over two plots, One of about fifty trees from a very old olive grove planted along the river, The other one of 320 very young trees of ten years old adjoins our vines. They currently produce around 600 kg of olives, increasing every year.
The blending of the various varieties, lucques, picholine, aglandao, amellau, cayon,... gives a greedy and delicate oil, with pronounced aromas of young raw artichoke.
The trees are not irrigated, only pruned once a year. No fertilizer, no pesticides, we set up traps to fight against the olive fly. The picking, done manually, is carried out depending on the year between early November and late December. It takes about 8 to 9 kg of olives to obtain 1L of oil...
The olives are immediately taken to the mill where they are pressed within 24 hours.
The oil is then decanted and later bottled over the following weeks. A pure delight, the oil of the year is sold online in 25cl bottles at our store, absolutely not enough to meet demand !
Just a few minutes from Carcassonne and its medieval city, in the heart of the wilderness, Chateau La Villatade offers 5 cottages that can accommodate 2 to 9 people each, for a total of 27 sleeping places.
The interior decoration highlights the spirit and the age of the place: exposed beams and stones, floor tiles, lime paint. And you can enjoy the 26-meter-long natural pool with turquoise water fed by a spring.
For your events (seminars, weddings, private or corporate events) we have in this quiet and serene bucolic environment, a large 150 m2 hall that can accommodate 100 to 150 people, as well as several outdoor venues.
And of course the visits of our estate are open all year round (upon online booking) 7 days a week and will allow you to discover our job and our know-how by sharing a moment with us through our vineyard, the cellar, the wine tasting and our products.
Cottages & Events Venue
A wine estate with a human dimension carried by family values, with a young and dynamic team.