Great Art in Grand Mayne
Located at the extreme south-west of the appellation, Grand Mayne is the ideal stopover for discovering the Lot-et-Garonne enclave. With its high capacity gîte (sleeps 12) and its background of collective-participative funding, this relatively recent 34-hectare property has always shown a warm welcome to visitors. Whether it's through a "simple" wine-tasting visit enriched with a small cheese or charcuterie platter (€5) or by getting the local village butcher to come along every Friday evening in summer for a barbecue/plancha grill in front of the property, with a foodtruck vibe and farm products to be enjoyed to the sound of live rock music in a festive atmosphere. All the estate vintages are available for tasting with a plate (€10 to have a glass).
For the rest of the year, a new 'sip and paint' project called VineyARTS is about to take shape. For example by proposing labels painted by children, or by taking part in Wednesday photography classes in the vineyards (with the help of a local association in Duras). Or again, by "sculpting a wine", by becoming an oenologist, just for a weekend, the time needed to create a barrel of wine using your own blending (minimum of 12 people and purchase of the whole barrel/cask). Red wines are made in the autumn, whites in springtime.
If you're looking for a good read you can even borrow wine comics or specialist books to browse through in the vineyards when the weather's fine...
Domaine du Grand Mayne, 47120 Villeneuve-de-Duras - +33(0)5 53 94 74 17 or www.domaine-du-grand-mayne.com
In Bergerac-Duras, happiness is at the market!
Veritable institutions, the markets follow the seasons to offer visitors local produce and the latest vintages from the winegrowers. In the summer, there's no shortage of gourmet markets in the villages or in the properties, such as the domaine de Panisseau or the very organic Croque ton 24, at the domaine de Perreau, that gives centre stage to young producers for one evening in July. But activity is not restricted to summer time! Market stalls offer Périgord produce all year round. Don't miss the market in Issigeac every Sunday morning, voted "the best market in Aquitaine", the three weekly markets in Bergerac (Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays) or the one in Duras on Monday mornings.
From December, the truffle markets reappear, with the highly sought after Périgord Tuber melanosporum selling for a fortune. At the market in Sainte-Alvère, on Monday mornings (open to all), the arrival of truffles is controlled and sales strictly regulated. An unforgettable experience!
To add a few tasty touches (solid or liquid) under the Christmas tree, head for the Christmas market in Sarlat in Black Périgord; it lasts three weeks and has been ranked among the 5 top Christmas markets in France.