Ventenac-en-Minervois is a delightful, peaceful and friendly village with just over 500 inhabitants. Surrounded by vineyards and situated on a low ridge beside the Canal du Midi, there are wonderful views in all directions from around the outskirts of the village.
A doorway in Château Ventenac’s dining hall opens out next to the 13th century church and the village square is within a minute’s walk. The Canal du Midi is a few paces from the Château Ventenac’s garden gate, whilst the wine Cave, the village’s two restaurants and boulangerie are all within 100 metres.
One of the charms of this southern French village is the Château de Ventenac Wine Cave, located a few metres from our gates. In 1938, the Caveau was taken over by the local winegrowers, who formed a cave co-opérative to make and sell wines using grapes from the rich vineyards around the village.
The co-operative has won prizes for its rich reds and (unusually for the region) its characterful white. We tend to drink their box of red wine for everyday drinking at a mere 10 euros for 5 litres.
The oak-aged reds from 2008 are very good at the moment and the unusual lightly-oaked white at about 9 euros is particularly good.
Next door to the wine caveau, the village offers a choice of two fine restaurants with a wide menu selection and informal dining. Le Coustellou is open all year, whereas La Grillade du Château only opens from Easter until October as most of its seating is outdoors. Both offer a range of grills, salads, pizzas and local dishes and their two and three course menus offer particularly good value.
Open every day our little village boulangerie is a thriving business and a place where the locals often gather for a chat, to buy the local papers, have coffee and a croissant. The bread is good and the pastries delicious!! Maria also sells a variety of basic food items if you don’t have time to get to the supermarket e.g. butter, juice, long life milk, eggs, ham etc. She even does ready meals too!
This small market starts around Easter and has a few stalls selling jams, cheeses and local produce.
Our little post office is open for a couple of hours most days. Opening hours displayed on the door…as they change regularly!! There is a post box outside the Post Office with regular collections.
Mobile Market Vans
Another fantastic treat is the mobile market vans, which come to the village 2-3 times a week selling local, fresh produce. We have several greengrocers, a chicken van, a deli van, and in the summer various other vans selling everything from tomatoes to shoes. The arrival of these vans is announced by the Mairie over the loudspeaker system, which is a feature of villages in this part of France.
Within a few minutes of our front door you will find a playground ideal for small children.
Sharpen your skills on the local boules piste.
Canal du Midi
The lower gateway from the Château grounds gives access onto the Canal du Midi. We keep this gate locked with a padlock and the code is kept in the kitchen. From here you can walk or cycle for miles along the glorious tree-lined Canal.