TO SEE | WINE
Languedoc is known to be the biggest wine-producing region of the world. You cannot visit Languedoc without a visit to a wine domain. Well, you can, but why wouldn’t you?! If you want to see the largest subterranean wine warehouse of South of France, Terra Vinéa is where you should go.
Subterranean wine domain
A beautiful route through the “arrière-pays” of Corbières brings you to Portel-des-Corbières, where you can find the wine domain of Terra Vinéa. I have seen their publicity around, and I was wondering if it would be worth a visit. The ad looked kind of touristy and kitsch, so I wasn’t too sure about it. But now and then you have to try something new, so off our little family went.
As I checked out the website, I read that you can only visit the underground cave under guidance. I didn’t pay attention to the visiting hours, but luckily we arrived just in time for the 15h30 tour. The tour starts on a little train that brings you to the entrance to the cave in 10 minutes. When you arrive, you go through the wooden gallery, which is a perfectly maintained tunnel with wooden walls. At the end of this tunnel, you enter the “cathedral”: a huge underground space where thousands of wine barrels are lined up. You are immediately treated to a light and sound show, which was a little impressive for the kids.
Plunge into history
After the light and sound show, the plunge into history starts. Terra Vinéa was an old plaster mine. In 1992, the mine was in a poor state and was closed down. The good thing about it was that closing down the mine was the starting point of the Terra Vinéa project. The Rocbère wineries decided to buy the mine and make it a winery. Like a cave cooperative, but then underground.
In about one and a half hours, a short history of wine is explained. From the Gallo-Romans to a medieval tavern and from working in the fields with corresponding equipment to vehicles from the last century. The tour is about 800 meters and also interesting for children. In total the underground space covers about 35 km²! But don’t worry, during your visit you will only see a fraction of it. Of course, the visit ends with a “dégustation”. It is very nice to taste the wines you’ve just heard talking about during the tour. In the shop, you can buy all kinds of wines, liquors as well as regional products. As far as we are concerned, it was a fun and interesting trip, both for big and small.