Domaine du Cayrat was built in the 19th century as a winery estate. A large central courtyard, with a sweet-smelling fig tree in the middle, is surrounded on three sides by various buildings: the cave (cellar), where the wine was stored, cottages for the estate's tenants, accommodation for the vendangeurs who harvested the grapes in years gone by, stables, barns, and, in one corner, a chapel overlooking the courtyard. The estate originally belonged to the Comtesse de Saint Germain, who gave it to her cousin, the grandfather of the current owners, Jacques and Monique de Bary. The couple restored the property in 2000, converting a former sheep pen into their home and making sure that the estate would once again now produce wine, under Jacques' expert supervision.
Two cottages in the Domaine are available for rent. Both have a spacious living/dining room on the ground floor, a well-equipped kitchen, and a large terrace, surrounded by shrubs, leading out to the courtyard. Each cottage has three bedrooms, facing out onto the courtyard, or to the vineyards and hills behind the property. The swimming pool lies at the entrance to the Domaine; it is landscaped with Mediterranean shrubs and gets the Languedoc sunshine all day long.
Every morning, just in time for breakfast, the baker's van pays a visit to Domaine du Cayrat, with fresh croissants and baguettes. The nearest village to Domaine du Cayrat is Cazouls-d'Hérault, an old winemaking village located amid vineyards along the Hérault river. In this deeply traditional village, old people chat on the bench between the Templar castle and the church square, and dogs sleep in the middle of the streets. In the medieval town of Pézenas, seven kilometres from Domaine du Cayrat, there is a good range of shops and services, including supermarkets, cafés, bars, and restaurants. The Languedoc parliament sat in Pézenas in the 17th century, and the famous playwright Molière was a former resident. Pézenas is full of history; there are beautiful stately buildings which can be visited, as well as more than 30 antique shops, and craft workshops throughout the summer. Saturday is market day in Pézenas, and this should not be missed. There's plenty more to do locally, including,- of course, wine tasting and the owners will be happy to recommend their favourite vignerons. Several golf courses are within easy reach.
Le Domaine du Cayrat is an ideal location from which to discover Languedoc. There are many places that can be easily visited on a day trip. To the east is Montpellier, the capital of Languedoc, and the town of Nîmes which boast some impressive Roman ruins. Provence is within easy reach, particularly the beautiful town of Arles and the Camargue national park. Westwards lie the towns of Béziers, Narbonne, and the spectacular medieval fortified town of Carcassonne. Albi, birthplace of Toulouse-Lautrec's is also a good spot for a day trip. Southwards, the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean are just 25 kilometres away. Further afield, Spain is a couple of hour's drive, and Barcelona within a morning's travel. Closer to home, there are many things worth seeing, including the abbey of Saint-Guilhem-du-Désert, the traditional potters at Saint-Jean-de-Fos, the museum at Lodève, and the extensive trails through the oak and pine forests of the Montagne Noire.