The Ouzoulias family has been in the Bordeaux wine trade since the 19th century. Their charming petit châteaux on the outskirts of Saint Emilion exudes a sense of timeless elegance; surely the property must be hide bound in old-fashioned winemaking and the age-old traditions of viticuture? Not so, because Château Franc Pourret is a leading Saint Emilion producer of organic wines. Since 1989 the vineyard has been certified as ‘Agriculture Biologique’ and in the winery the fermentation and bottling of their grand cru wine is carried out organically. Catherine Ouzoulias, who is the hostess of the chambres d’hôtes business, also grows her own organic salad crops at the ends of the vine rows. Breakfast is also totally organic and utterly delicious. Catherine has created two large bedrooms on the first floor of the house and furnished them in a formal Borderlais style with antique armoires and big comfy beds on stripped pine floorboards. The rooms are well designed and there’s plenty of space and good lighting. This is a great place to stay for exploring the UNESCO world heritage village of Saint Emilon, is just a mile away through the vines. True to their ecological principles, Catherine encourages walkers to visit by train – Parisians can catch the TGV all the way to Libourne where someone will pick them up from the station. I hope this catches on with Londerners who can catch the lunchtime train from Saint Pancras and be sipping Catherine’s excellent Darjeeling in the chateau’s grand drawing room by tea-time. The vineyard is sandwiched between some rather famous and very expensive cru classé properties but Ouzoulias wines aren’t easy to find in the UK. They are however really very, very good and the most expensive is only about £12 a bottle. What are you waiting for? Let the train take the strain and get down there for the weekend!
Château Franc Pourret 33330 Saint Emilion +33 (0)5 57 24 72 29