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A Working Holiday
Chapter 1: We Leave for France
Chapter 10: Looking for Mr. Goodstone
Chapter 11: A mission to la Clape
Chapter 12: Dinner at Château de Lignan
Chapter 13: Antiques and plunder
Chapter 14: The vintner next door
Chapter 15: The rooftops of Nézignan-l'Évêque
Chapter 2: Comes the crusade
Chapter 3: The 13 colonies
Chapter 4: Our curtains are dreadful
Chapter 5: Naked beaches
Chapter 6: A visit to Château des Estanilles
Chapter 7: A pilgrimage to Toulouse
Chapter 8: Remembering Collioure
Chapter 9: The priest and the mayor
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A Day Trip Itinerary...print this out   print the content item
Sun-Baked Wine and Castle Peyrepertuse
Michelin rates Peyrepertuse, a medieval fortification perched high on a windswept rock ridge, a top attraction. This distinctively ship-shaped castle is an easy walk from ample parking lots. On the July day when we visited re-enactors hacked at each other in the castle's courtyard, a "history comes alive" moment backed up by magnificent views.

But our real destination is two valleys over, a top vintner making Maury wines, Mas Amiel. Maury is a complex sweet wine that perfectly complements blue cheese and simple desserts. Mas Amiel, by all accounts, makes the best. Maury is noted for a peculiar method of production: it ages outdoors in large bottles, exposed to the transforming rays of the brutal southern sun. Mas Amiel's "cave" (the wine tasting and sales room) is cool and welcoming.Time to Mas Amiel: about 1.75 hours.
Directions: From the house, jump on the A9 toward Narbonne. Take exit 41 (Perpignan centre). At the first roundabout, take the D12 toward Vingrau. This is the scenic route, as you'll see when the road crests and a glorious valley opens before you. At Vingrau, follow the signs to Tautavel (D9). You will pass a sign for the Caune de l'Arago and a gorge. You can stop here for a swim in a wide mountain stream. At Tautavel, follow the signs toward Estagel. (D9 to D611). Just after some railroad tracks, you'll encounter the D117, a wide two-lane highway. Turn right, toward Maury/Foix. You'll soon see signs for Mas Amiel on your right, and a huge "MA" in white on the hillside. To continue to Peyrepertuse, go to Maury, turn right onto the D19. This road winds up out of the village, taking you directly to the turnoff for Quéribus, and beyond Quéribus, left on the D14 to Peyrepertuse.
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