When you go through the Pic Saint-Loup, it’s impossible not to stop at a wine estate.

On a stormy August morning, we went to meet the Cavalier family and the Château de Lascaux in the heart of the small village of Vacquières.

Change of plan and thunderstorms on the horizon

When southerners tell you that the thunderstorms of August can be vigorous, you have to take their word for it! As soon as the curtains are drawn, my wife and I understand that this day will take a different turn than imagined. The sky is low, charged, already almost threatening north side Cevennes.

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We must face the facts, we will have to postpone our morning bike ride to later. On the bright side: we can take the time to enjoy our breakfast on the terrace facing the vineyards, the Château du Montferrand in sight.

Our host Coralie, from the comfortable cottage «Chez Louis» in Lauret, whispered us not to leave the region without having crossed the doors of a vault.


The weather forecast on the phone confirms a more capricious morning. Nothing is useful to hurry... we have all the time to (re)organize the rest of our stay in Pic Saint-Loup, the same time to read and be lulled in the deckchairs by the song of the cicadas, while listening to the first thunders in the distance.

The calm of the village and the surprise of a colorful cellar.

Less than 10km separates us from the vineyard that we chose to visit. It will be the Château de Lascaux, in the heart of the small village of Vacquières. We were spoiled for choice, there is in Pic Saint-Loup a large number of areas that are pleased to welcome you.

Away from the main road that connects St Mathieu de Tréviers to Corconne - l'Hérault au Gard - Vacquières is discovered after following the vineyards and leave the Pic Saint-Loup in our back.

Spared by the storm that falls very locally a little further, we take the time to stroll in Vacquières. Here the calm reigns, one feels the peaceful atmosphere of the small village of hinterland, far from the tumult. We see that all around, the arable land is occupied by the vine. We quickly understand that it represents the major economy here.

Once passed the enclosure and the courtyard of the domain, we arrive at the vault for a free visit. We go down a floor lower in the cellar and there... it’s total amazement! The cellar has become, during the summer, a real art gallery where are exposed, between the barrels, photos studio vegetables in large format with very bright colors.

The contrast between the cool tones of the cellar and the explosive colors of the photos is really striking. What a nice surprise to be able to combine an exhibition with our tasting tour! (exhibition until 22 September). 

Dégustation de vins... et de photos

Today, the vines are located within a 10km radius of the estate, with 85ha of cultivated land. The preservation of the environment is at the heart of their concerns. Further than organic, the family has opted for a biodynamic practice in recent years: herbal teas, natural composts and plants to pamper the soil. Hives, cows, sheep also participate in this living ensemble where biodiversity is respected. 3 appellations are present: AOP Pic Saint-Loup, AOP Languedoc and IGP St Guilhem-le-désert.

Chateaux Lascaux - Organic  - Emmanuel Perrin - oenoculturelle - Grand Pic Saint-Loup

A wine tasting in the cellars.

We took the time to contemplate each photo: here a tomato in the shape of a heart, there a twisted pepper, further a broccoli in the shape of trees... as if the photographer had given life to his vegetables. When we learn that vegetables come from local production, we are not surprised. The imperfect aspect they give to see, their defects of appearance, are the proof.

Place tasting in the vaulted cellars of the estate. The pleasant freshness and atmosphere of the places with these stones put us in the best disposition to taste, with our friend who joined us in the meantime.

Jean-Benoît Cavalier explains that he represents the 15th generation of winemakers settled here. We are in a family domain where the transmission has continued, like other neighboring farms.

Chateaux Lascaux - Degustation - Cave - Vacquières 08

All the wines tasted have their own identity, and challenge us by their subtle balance. White wines are a real pleasure and stand out from each other. I have a weakness for the cuvée «Les pierres d'argent» in AOP Languedoc, composed of Vermentino, Roussanne and Marsanne grape varieties. Its freshness and aromas of licorice and spices hold in the mouth and brighten the taste buds.

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All that remains is to thank the winemaker for this pleasant moment he dedicated to us and to discover this garrigue that gives the wines of here its so particular flavors.   

The other favorite is the cuvées «Carra»: the winemaker tells us that there is no white wine in AOP Pic Saint-Loup, but that its integration is in reflection. We now taste the red and rosé varieties that comply with the specifications of the appellation: syrah, grenache, mourvèdre. A successful blend where aromatic notes are felt, with soft tannins. My heart still swings with the cuvées «Garrigue» where we expressly feel all the specificities of the terroir. The garrigue expresses itself surprisingly in these wines with aromas of thyme, rosemary...

To find out more

Chateaux Lascaux - Vacquiere - Grand Pic Saint-Loup
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