CASTELNAU DE MONTMIRAL
CASTELNAU DE MONTMIRAL , Tarn – Point of interest
32 Km west of Albi, Castelnau-de-Montmiral crowns a promontory which dominates the Gaillac vineyards, in the department of the Tarn. The setting is superb and the village, listed as one of the most beautiful in France, is every bit as beautiful.
A bastide founded at the beginning of the 13th century by Count Raymond VII of Toulouse, Castelnau-de-Montmiral had it share of war and historical incidents. The village whose original name meant “the mountain from which you see” has now become a particularly attractive holiday destination. Its venerable residences, its narrow streets and its central square have all been carefully restored, to respect the spirit of the village.
Bordered on four sides by houses on vaulted arches, the central square is a small marvel of medieval architecture. Intimate and friendly, it is a place where people like to meet for lunch or a cup of coffee on one of the shaded terraces.
Be sure to visit the 15th century church where the Montmiral cross is kept, a present from Charles d’Armagnac. Richly decorated with precious stones, this 7 kg cross symbolising the Old and New Testament has been revered since the 15th century.
Against a background of the Grésigne forest and the AOC Gaillac vines, Castelnau-de-Montmiral experienced the peak of this very ancient vineyard, when it was praised by the crowned heads of France.
Today, having resolved to concentrate on quality, the Gaillac vineyards are appreciated for their full-bodied reds and also for their appealing white wines. Wines that are not to be missed, as you drive along the little roads that cross the area around Castelnau-de-Montmiral and its surrounding countryside with its southern accents.