25 October 2009

Minerve M'enerve!

Saturdays and Sundays are our "days off."  Yesterday, we decided to go on a grand adventure to the little village of Minerve, voted one of the twenty prettiest villages in France (l'un des plus belles villages en France").  David warned us that the trip to Minerve was a little bit of an uphill struggle..."but only slightly uphill."  Sundara just remarked that it was "a wee bonny town."  So how could we resist?

The ride to and from Minerve was actually breathtaking.  This is the perfect time to be in the Minervois region.  Most days, are crystal clear with blue skies and dramatically contrasting greens, reds, and oranges in the landscape. 

The ride was definitely an uphill struggle...we were cursing the idea of ever trying to go to Minerve...how much better than Ventenac can it really be????  And then we pedaled  around the last hill and saw the little place.  Definitely one of the twenty loveliest villages in France!

Minerve is an incredibly old village -- originally inhabited by Cathars -- built into a secluded valley.  The dramatic rocky surroundings almost camouflage the village itself because all the buildings are constructed into the rock, out of the rock.  

Minerve is also nestled between several "sweet sweet" vineyards.  We tried the grapes and they are super bon.  

The southern gate.  Much of the old ramparts protecting the town still exist, this bit is from the 13th century.  

No medieval village is complete without a reconstructed catapult for sieges and the like!

Happy Fall from wine country!