Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chai Christine Cannac, Bédarieux

From the Auvergne to the Languedoc - specifically Bédarieux, an attractive town in the Vallée de l'Orb we haven't visited for a while. But we'd heard there was a good natural wine bar and shop there and finally made it up there for lunch today.

Christine Cannac (above) has worked as a sommelier all over the Languedoc but came back to set up a wine bar in her home town a couple of years ago. She'd become more and more drawn to natural wines, she told us. Her wine list is a roll-call of the great and the good including Casot des Mailloles, Marcel Lapierre, Dard et Ribo, Thierry Allemand and Léon Barral in nearby Faugères.

We initially made the mistake of ordering a couple of unknown (to us) wines by the glass - a grenache gris called La Begou from Maxime Magnon and a rather over-funky rosé called Plait-t'il from Le Petite Baigneuse - which I don't think were showing at their best. Possibly they'd just been open too long.

So we switched to a bright, breezy vin de soif called Fou du Roi from Axel Prüfer of Le Temps des Cerises just up the road at Le Mas Blanc which was perfect with our shared platter of charcuterie. According to the Australian importer Living Wines, which rather impressively ships it over to Tasmania, it's a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan.

We drove up the road to see if Axel was around but the winery was firmly shut up. Shame. He sounds quite a character.

Anyway if you're in the area Chai Christine Cannac is a good place to drop by for a drink. Just order by the bottle. The bar is at 3 square Robert Schumann, 34600 Bédarieux. Tel: 04 67 95 86 14.


  1. You seem to be around there quite a lot, Fiona, and right you are, it’s a lovely region, the surroundings of Bédarieux, it surely is. You yourself do know but your readers may be interested: Jean-Claude Carrière ( who used to be Luis Buñuel’s collaborator and a very prolific scriptwriter afterwards, has been born in Colombières-sur-Orb, just west of Bédarieux. His book, “Le Vin Bourru” (Plon, 2000) is really a MUST for all those who like wine. It is a chronicle of his youth on the slopes of the mountains “l’Espinouse” and more in particular “Le Caroux”, along the old railroad – parts of which still can be spotted. It’s an ode to rural life, to farming, to sound food and good wine. I guess it must have been translated.
    Moreover, he has developped a true interest in Goya – arguably one of the world’s 10 greatest painters - and in Indian wisdom. Isn’t he a ... natural thinker ?

  2. I didn't know about Le Vin Bourru, Luc, so thankyou. My husband (who speaks fluent French) would love that.