HOUSE HUNTING IN WINE COUNTRY - FITOU
Fitou wine is well-established, particularly in the UK - most people know the name, can pronounce it easily, and may even have tried a bottle or two. But ask them where Fitou is and the chances are they'll look at you blankly. So here's your chance to shine at your next dinner party: serve a few bottles of full-bodied, feisty red Fitou and regale your guests with a little background.
First and foremost, a couple of facts. Fitou is the oldest appellation in the Languedoc-Roussillon region (and not a lot people know that). It is divided into two zones that border Corbi?res, with the smaller zone lying around the coastal town of Fitou itself, and the larger zone's vineyards dominating the land between Villeneuve-les-Corbi?res and Tuchan. Although the communes here can produce golden-hued Rivesaltes vins doux naturels, most of the wines are reds, made mainly from the Carignan grape variety blended with Grenache, Mourv?dre and Syrah. Good Fitou vintages tend to be herb-flavoured with a wild, spicy character; think simple, medium- to full-bodied, rustic reds.
Next up, the place itself. Fitou is small but lively winemaking village in the south of France, in the Aude d?partement of the Languedoc region. It's about 10 minutes drive from the beaches of the Mediterranean, an hour and a half from ski resorts in the Pyrenees, and you can even do a day trip to Spain from Fitou. A number of expats (mainly British, Dutch and Germans) have chosen to make their homes here; Fitou appeals to families with young children as it's quiet enough to feel very safe while providing all the necessary services and amenities to make life comfortable year-round, including a primary school, bar, several restaurants, a boulangerie, a supermarket, launderette, a snack bar - and of course, lots of wine (which can be bought direct from the producers). It's a popular village with foreign visitors as it is still largely unspoilt, but it's hardly an expat enclave, and everyone is well integrated; it's a very small, friendly community.
Properties range from small village houses (maison de village) through to modern villas and apartments in the Domaine de Capitelles, a new development situated up on the hills surrounding the village. Cheaper properties tend to change hands quickly, especially if they have an outside area, as gardens are hard to come by. The Fitou area is considered to be a good place to look for older property to renovate; lower-priced village houses invariably need modernization or at least decoration, and by renovating an older property it is possible to create a home that is exactly to your tastes while saving money.
Fans of modern building styles will need to look elsewhere. Occasionally, recently-built villas come onto the market but they are far and few between, and there are very few plots of building land left; you'd need to look a little further afield to be able to build your own home from scratch. House prices in and around Fitou have boomed since the Millennium, but have now become relatively stable. As an example, in the nearby village of Paziols, a two-bedroom village house renovated in a modern style is currently on the market for ?104,500, while a pretty, three-bed village house with original features (wooden beams, open fireplaces and a period staircase) and plenty of charm is selling for ?129,600. For more details of these and other properties, visit www.viboimmobilier.com.
About the Author
Louise has lived in France, in the city of Montpellier in the Languedoc-Roussillon for the past 5 years.
Louise writes for a number of French life magazines and was asked to write a number of articles on life and experiences in France by French real estate agents Vibo Immobilier (http://www.viboimmobilier.com), based in the wine village of Fitou.
Wines and More
Some Important Wine Making Tips
So, you have decided you would like to have a bash at making your own wine. You also want to do it properly, and turn out some really great tasting qu...
Click Here to Read More About Wine ...
Featured Wines Items
Riedel Ultra Magnum Wine Decanter
The Riedel Ultra Wine Decanter complements your entire Riedel stemware set. The perfectly balanced base and fluted mouth allow for easy pouring and wine decanting. Combining a sleek modern design with maximum breathing room for wine aeration the Riedel Ultra Wine Decanter is the ultimate in crystal wine decanters. Perfectly designed to fit our large wine decanter glass stopper. 9 1/4'H 70.5 oz. Attention California residents. Proposition 65 WARNING.
Price: 225.00 USD
Current Wines News
QUICK BITESNEW STUFF - Detroit Free Press
QUICK BITESNEW STUFF
Detroit Free Press, United States - Apr 23, 2008
The 2008 Michigan Wine Country Wine and Touring Guide is available from the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. The free 44-page guide has maps to the ...
Press on for a tour of wineries - Dubuque Telegraph Herald
Press on for a tour of wineries
Dubuque Telegraph Herald, IA - 16 hours ago
By MARY ANN GASSMAN TH food columnist Wine almost has become a household staple and continues to gain momentum as its popularity grows. ...
THIS WEEK'S Q&A: Wine Rankings - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
THIS WEEK'S Q&A: Wine Rankings
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - Apr 23, 2008
From 5 to 7 pm Thursday, Kerry Cameron of Barnie's Coffee & Tea Company will join Vino 100 serving samples of well-matched coffees and wine, ...
Fruit of the sea - Monterey County Herald
Fruit of the sea
Monterey County Herald, CA - 4 hours ago
Tito is the cousin of Thomas Perez, wine director for the culinary triumvirate of Bouchée, L'Auberge and Cantinetta Luca in Carmel. The small yet broad wine ...
Golden Pheasant Inn - Packet Online
Golden Pheasant Inn
Packet Online, NJ - 15 hours ago
While we considered the menu and sipped our wine, we enjoyed warm, crusty French bread served in slices in a basket covered with a napkin and accompanied ...
Labels: Wine Jobs&type=page">