The Languedoc-Roussillon Region -- Sea, Wine and Sun
The Languedoc-Roussillon is a triangle which spreads from Nîmes to the north, Perpignan to the south and Toulouse to the west. The Mediterranean landscapes are bathed in sun and freshened by the two dominant winds, the Cers and the Marin. The vineyards, cultivated from the dry stony heath land called Garrigue, can be seen with neat parallel rows of vines throughout the region which continue to the banks of the Midi Canal in the plains. The region’s wines are soft and complex due to the regular ripening of the grapes produced by the hot sun and the cool air from the Montagne Noire.
The Languedoc has always been a region of exchange and creation, occupied successively by Celts, Maurs, Greeks, Romans and Visigoths.
The Aude Department, Cathar Country
The village of Aragon is under the Aude department within the Languedoc-Roussillon region. Aude represents an extraordinary countryside that includes the Mediterranean coastline to the Pyrenees, and the dry heath land of the garrigues to the Black Mountain pastures.
The parallel lines formed by the vines of vineyards compose a visually striking landscape covering the diverse terrain: the plains, the river valleys, the stony chalk hillsides of the Montagne Noire, and the dry red soils of the Corbières. Imposing medieval castles are an important element in the local past and culture. Ten or so ‘Cathar’ castles, also known as the ‘vertiginous citadels’ were built high up on rocky summits to be as inaccessible as possible.
Cabardès, East Wind, West Wind
Two winds blow alternately here, the Cers, a cold dry wind from the north-west and the Marin, warm humid blusters from the Mediterranean sea. The Cabardès was once the land of the Lords of Cabaret, the previous name for the village of Lastours, overlooked by the four medieval fortified towers. The area includes the south facing slopes of the Montagne Noire and the area north of the Cité of Carcassonne.
In the Cabardès, the eye turns naturally towards the north to the Pic de Nord, the summit (1211 meters) of Montagne Noire. The rounded dark curves are a distinctive viewpoint and a dominant landmark.
When the weather is clear in the Cabardès, one can see across the south valley towards the craggy horizon of the Pyrenees mountains. The Pyrenees is a natural grey during the summer and crystal white in the winter, a vista of incomparable beauty.