After being on the road and bouncing between five different countries for a month and a half, all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and sleep for a week straight. But my consecutive run of back-to-back trips concluded with the most relaxing trip to a winery in the south of France. Château L'Hospitalet in France was the destination I needed to unplug and unwined at the end of almost six weeks away from home.
The Château L'Hospitalet is one of the estates owned by French winemaker Gerard Bertrand. It's a charming hotel nestled in the middle of seemingly endless rows of grape vines, in the adorable town of Narbonne. From certain hills around the property, you can actually catch a glimpse of the Mediterranean. Needless to say, the photo opportunities are endless.
The estate is in a valley, and the wind was pretty powerful when I was there, which made the hot air of Southern France in the summer much more bearable. It was truly the perfect destination for me to catch my breath while also soaking up incredible #views and enjoying amazing wine. Though my trip to Château L'Hospitalet was only a short four days, it was a beautiful destination I can't wait to visit again.
I'm a bit of a wine aficionado myself, and I loved staying at a winery because it meant I could try a ton of different varietals from Gerard Bertrand's collection. I'm pretty partial to rosé, especially in the summer, and the JOY'S one I tried became my choice of the week. (I will warn you: It tastes so good.)
Outside of the winery, there were many unique experiences I was able to participate in. I took a tour of Le Salin de Gruissan, which is a salt marsh just a quick drive away from the château. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before. According to my tour guide, the marsh contains algae that turn the water pink, which made for some seriously epic photos.
While I was there I also learned that the salt produced at the marsh is used for cooking the food at their on-site restaurant, La Cambuse du Saunier. I enjoyed fresh oysters (which they farm on the property), and even enjoyed a salt-crusted duck breast made with — you guessed it — the salt from the marsh. It was definitely an unforgettable dining experience.
Also close to the château is Manade Tournebelle, an equestrian center that breeds Camargue horses. They offer scenic horseback rides through the Regional Natural Park of Narbonne, and I was able to ride a beautiful horse named Marcos, which made for an incredible afternoon.
I feel like my trip to Château L'Hospitalet was much too short. Four days just wasn't enough for me to really soak up all of the beautiful sights of Narbonne — or to test out all the wine I wanted to. But I'm so grateful I was able to end six months on the road relaxing at a beautiful estate like this one. I truly can't wait to go back.