Saint Chinian - The Wine, The Terroir
Saint Chinian, is at the centre of 20 villages that create an extraordinary wine with original tastes, strengths, and colors.
The terroir extends from the Orb, to the Verzanobre, and the mountains of the Caroux, and Espinouse.
An AOC since 1982, Saint Chinian wine is now the 4th largest wine producing area in the Languedoc, after Corbieres, Coteaux de Languedoc, and Minervois.
With Saint-Chinian wines, the wine lover will find red wines rich and generous, and rosés - delicate pink and fruity. Tastes have a pleasant earthy taste, the warmth of micro-climates, with elements of tannins. The main varieties are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre (60%). The ground soil of
red shale, creates deep exuberance. There is often a scent of coffee or cocoa, as well as liquorice and garrigue.
The velvety wine with low accidity, good tannin, will keep well for a number of years. Clay and limestone combine to resonate the often hints of fruit (blackcurrant, raspberry, cherry).
Saint Chinian is a wine well worth tasting, buying, drinking, and keeping for the future
Visit the Cave Cooperative of Saint-Chinian
Saint Chinian: Monastery and Abbey
If often comes to be a great surprise to learn that the town hall at St Chinian, was the dormitory of the Abbots Palace, of one of the first Benedictine Abbeys in France, to be renovated by the followers of St Maur from 1620 onwards. The monastery and Abbey however was first founded in the 8th century; and became for a long time the center of a thriving community.
The Abbey church, rebuilt in 1664, became a market hall and is now in part the towns large meeting room, whilst the Abbey Palace with adjoining cloister (still possible to see) became the town hall. The public gardens with flower displays, next the busy Sunday market - were once part of the Abbots park
Saint Chinian: Eglise de l’Assomption-de-Notre-Dame
The parish church of Saint Chinian, fully renovated in the 17th century, has vestiges of its earlier roman self that can only be found in the walls. Inside there is a good organ, as well as a number of works of art dating from the 17-18th centuries
Moulin du Rocher
High on the hill above Saint Chinian, on the road to Villespassans you will find the Moulin. A windmill, fully renovated in 2000 - where one can see all the mechanics and elements of a flour mill, that ground the cereal, that fed the population of the area. It is well worth stopping, and taking a walk with breathtaking views.
Notre-Dame de Nazareth
Just to the south of Saint Chinian, Notre-Dame de Nazareth, is a lovely chapel, on top of a hill that once was an oppidum (hill fort), one of the first habitations in the area.
The chapel was built, because a local shepherd had a vision and saw the Virgin Mary. There are a number of walks both spiritual and physical to tempt you! There are even a number of prescribed climbs sponsored by the French Federation of Mountain Climbing (FFME).
The Market This bustling busy market from common fresh foods, to exotic herbs and spices, from oysters, to chinese delicacies, from flowers for the garden to clothes and fashion items for the home - make this a social event for all nations every week in Saint Chinian.
On Sundays and Thursdays, the streets around the market bubble with people either out to buy, or to dine or socialize at the number of good restaurants, bars, pizzarias, that are close at hand.
Café Restaurant de la Paix
Café Du Balcon - the place to be on market day!
Tillou - excellent pizzas - good service!
Restaurant la Caléche
Restaurant Le Village