In all of the wine regions I have ever visited in over 25 years, I have never seen such an idyllic setting hidden in the vineyards and it can be found in one of St Emilion’s most up-and-coming wine château, Troplong Mondot. Despite the grey May weather (average temperature in May has been 10°C lower than normal!) I hope these snapshots give you an idea, much sunnier shots on http://www.chateau-troplong-mondot.com!
It is a little private house which would have originally housed the vineyard workers. It is historic, around 200 years old, atmospheric with its fireplace, little kitchen, beautifully decorated with antiques and covered in climbing pink roses, very much the colour of one of St Emilion’s most fashionable and most delicious, Château Troplong Mondot.
The château is set on a hill, the highest point around (hence the water tower) with a beautiful 360° view which can be best appreciated from the wine property’s restaurant’s open almost Tuscan terrace.
Back to the little idyll – perfect for honeymoon or other romantic couples, it really is set in the vineyards not overlooked by anyone (apart from the odd horse – 7 of the property’s 33 hectares is cultivated by horse now to lessen compaction of the soil with more on their way). Beware though it does not have WIFI so is truly the ideal spot to get away from IT ALL (although it does have satellite tv). A five minute amble through the vines (with one of the most stunning views of the medieval village of St Emilion and its famous spire of its monolithic Church built over 300 years between the 9th and 12th century hand carved from a single piece of stone by Benedictine monks….) gets you to the main château with its swimming pool (reopens August 2013), the other chambre d’hôtes, the restaurant (chef Jérôme Cadillat from the Crillon and Dutournier creates menus based on seasonal ingrédients from their own ‘potager’ and local produce) and wine cellars.
It is a fully running château run by Christine Valette of the famous St Emilion wine family (previous owners of Château Pavie now Premier Grand Cru Classé A in the increasingly contentious recent reclassification). Troplong Mondot, with its predominance of Merlot, was promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé in 2006 and rightly deserved to be. It is a firm favorite of Parker and other wine critics around the world. It is open for visits even during harvest-time. Christine’s husband Xavier Pariente is an antique specialist, hence the wonderful taste and beautiful objects to be seen in every corner.
Forget the car, forget the computer and leave it all behind. Take a bike for ambles around the beautiful region of St Emilion (there are many bike paths to follow) and also rambler’s paths to many historic corners such as the Romain church of St Laurent, the caves of Château Ferrande and the historic Château de Pressac where the end of the 100 year’s war against the English treaty was signed. Not to mention St Emilion which is rich in hermit monks, myth and legend as well as 200km of quarried tunnels, catacombs and cloisters – a short ten minute bike ride away!
their internet site has much prettier photos, mine were taken on a grey May day, not at all normal for this time of year!
Bed & Breakfast Rooms
House in the Vines – set on its own in the vineyards (for couples)
There are 2 more options (both with wifi, canal …) in a separate building
The Mahogany Room – 1 couple room
The ‘Atelier’ – a suite for two couples complete with kitchen, fireplace etc
Les Belles Perdrix Restaurant
Not open Wednesdays but otherwise all week and weekend.
It has a cosy restaurant too for the cooler months which is open most of the year (closes mid to end November and 22 Dec to end jan)
05 57 55 32 05 firstname.lastname@example.org
Château Visits and Tastings are possible Monday to Fridays at around 8€ pp Contact Réjane on 05 57 55 32 05
For organised wine tour itineraries when visiting the region of St Emilion contact Nicolle Croft