Visited the area surrounding Chateau Castigno at Assignan earlier today. It’s a village situated a few miles above St Chinian in the Black Mountains. Fascinating story of an extremely wealthy family from Belgium who are having a massive influence on this sleepy village by re developing the Chateau and its vineyard and key businesses in the village square. It’s a must see and only 15 mins from La Souqueto.
Saint Chinian – only a few minutes from Assignan
Saint Chinian is a bustling village, only 15 minutes from La Souqueto luxury bed and breakfast South of France; dating back to 825 when a monastery was founded by Saint Anian, possibly on the site of what today is the Mairie. The monastery prospered and with it the village. It survived the Albigensian Crusades relatively unscathed and emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries as a centre for the manufacture of high quality cloth. During the French revolution the abbey was dissolved and its buildings put to new uses. The former abbey church is now the village hall and hosts everything from exhibitions to village dances.
The revolution also put an end to the cloth trade and the village had to rely on the wine for its fortunes. After the phylloxera crisis of the 1860′s, the Languedoc region was producing huge amounts of cheap wine. It was not until towards the middle of this century that the vignerons began to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. A VDQS since 1945, St Chinian acquired AOC status in 1982. The appellation area covers twenty communes and produces primarily red and rosé. The vines grow on hillsides facing the sea, at an altitude of 100 – 200m. St Chinian wines have a very long-standing reputation, going back as far as the fourteenth century.
Visiting St. Chinians Sunday Market is a must! It’s based in the town square under mature Plane tress.