France: Part V - Villeneuve-Minervois and Etc.

On our second to last day we went to a relatively new vineyard in the town of Limoux. Limoux is a town that has a lot of history as it was the place where champagne was really invented. Monks originally created it here, Dom Perignon came through town, stole the recipe, and set up shot in the town of Champagne where he produced and marketed the sparkling wine, and eventually gained the AOC. The winery we went to, Gayda, does not make limoux though. It was a small production of various whites and reds. After the tasting, we went upstairs to the restaurant for lunch. This was the whole reason we went to this vineyard as the view from the restaurant looked over the Pyrennes. 

After Gayda, we went back to our small town and laid low the rest of the day. Naomi and I took a walk around town to see if we could discover anything new. The only thing we discovered was that Naomi loved putting her hands in dirty fountains and posing against various doors and walls. Oh, and that Naomi now has an adopted French Grandma. Then that night after Naomi went to sleep, I ventured to the local pub to watch Liverpool play Real Madrid. It wound up to be just myself and the bar tender. I spoke no French, he no English. It made for a fun time. 2 Guinness and 3 Real Madrid goals later, I was ready to call it a night at halftime.

The following day we did a lot of driving and saw many little things. We went to an olive oil co-op in the morning. Aside from grapes, olives are a big thing in the region and because of that there are many small batch olive oil producers. After tasting many different varieties, and naomi eating an entire loaf of "tasting bread", we headed to an old book store just off the Canal du Midi. It was big, old and smelled like my elementary school's text books. Neat to see but we did not stay long. Next we drove to a nearby village to see the market and have some lunch. Two huge sandwiches and a basket of pomme frites later, we were off to see the goat cheese farm. But, we arrived too early and they were only open in the morning when the goats go out to pasture, and in the evening when they get back. With Kiddo already asleep in the back, there was no way we would have been able to wait 2 more hours. So we just drove through some incredible back roads and enjoyed the landscape one more time before turning in to begin packing. We flew home the following day,

Warning: Heavy on the kid below.

 Adopted Grandma. Villeneuve-Minervois

Adopted Grandma. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Outside Gayda. Limoux

Outside Gayda. Limoux

 Driving, turn right. Limoux

Driving, turn right. Limoux

 Steamed milk at the communist bar. Limoux

Steamed milk at the communist bar. Limoux

 Checking to see if she's doing it right. Limoux

Checking to see if she's doing it right. Limoux

 Inside the courtyard. Villeneuve-Minervois

Inside the courtyard. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Hoop dreams, yo. Villeneuve-Minervois

Hoop dreams, yo. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Naomi practicing Red Steel. Villeneuve-Minervois

Naomi practicing Red Steel. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Playing with the gate. Villeneuve-Minervois

Playing with the gate. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Fountain. Villeneuve-Minervois

Fountain. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Front door Open, closed, open, closed. Villeneuve-Minervois

Front door Open, closed, open, closed. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Guinness and Balotelli. Villeneuve-Minervois

Guinness and Balotelli. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Family portrait over the Canal du Midi. Le Somail

Family portrait over the Canal du Midi. Le Somail

 On the way to the goat farm. Somewhere

On the way to the goat farm. Somewhere

 in the doorway. Saint Chinian

in the doorway. Saint Chinian

 Through the gate and courtyard. Villeneuve-Minervois

Through the gate and courtyard. Villeneuve-Minervois

 MIme shirt on bench. Saint Chinian

MIme shirt on bench. Saint Chinian

 The plaster stairs in our house. Villeneuve-Minervois

The plaster stairs in our house. Villeneuve-Minervois

 Last bath, Villeneuve-Minervois

Last bath, Villeneuve-Minervois