South of France, who knew it would be this good?
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Recently stayed at a B&B called Château du Bascou (www.chateaudubascou.com) they have their own vineyards and we took a cooking course there which was great fun...learning every which we took cook a duck...Gascon style. Even duck scratchings. Be warned in fact as all they eat down there is duck (and foie gras for that matter). No worries if you’re a veggie as they’ll give you chicken.
It was especially nice because we were a short distance away from the wine regions of Madiran, St Mont and Pacherenc du vic Bihl. Three particularly good wineries were Château St Go, Monastère de Saint Mont, also there's a cooperative making some stylish wine called Plaimont (www.plaimont.com). Plaimont is also the easiest place to taste wine as it’s normally open.
Madiran mostly produces big reds that actually go well with duck and the most famous winery to visit here is probably Château Montus, but their wine comes with a hefty price. Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh is interesting because it is one of the oldest sweet wine producing areas of France. But in most cases it's not the type of wine that's too cloying, but rather, due to the high amount of acidity, quite refreshing.
You must also check out this small medieval town called Loupiac which is the birthplace of the famous musketeer D'Artagnan (there’s a statue in his honour in a town called Auch.)
If you do drive through these areas of Gascony you will most definitely be stunned by the sheer beauty of the rugged terrain. It's basically miles of vineyards, dotted with ancient, forgotten châteaux. One of the most untouched areas of France and truly picturesque.
All is local here and if there are tourists, they're French.