Historical research may not be the most exciting activity, but when you are trying to get to the bottom of the legends surrounding the world’s oldest sparkling wine, it bubbles along rather nicely!
Yesterday, Bruno Bouché explained why he moved from Champagne to Limoux, while I sampled his production.
As for the legend, sometime around 1531 the Dominicans of Saint-Hilaire accidentally invented the world’s first bubbly in this cave. A century later, the lucky monks welcomed one of their brothers from the north. Naturally they served him their sparkling wine, and the good Dominican Pierre Pérignon returned to his monastery in Champagne with the recipe hidden in his habit.
Did Bruno say any of this was true? I can’t remember!
It lasts longer than Rio. It follows stricter codes than Venice. And performers and spectators are never further than a confetti-throw from a bar offering bubbly Blanquette de Limoux.
This year the carnival runs from 27 January until 7 April. Three times a day every weekend - plus Mardi Gras - the medieval arcades around the central square resonate to the beat of the drum and the sound of brass and woodwind.
But preceding the band are the dancers - different groups every day - wearing a dazzling array of costumes from the traditional to the downright ridiculous. Whatever they are wearing, they love confetti!
Gaillac is best known for its wines, and the town claims to have vineyards that pre-date the Roman occupation. But it is also twinned with the town of Zigong in China's Sichuan province, and this winter it is hosting its second Chinese Lantern Festival.
We visited the park on Monday and spent a cold, moonlit evening wandering among a thousand giant illuminated silk sculptures. The festival closes on 6 February 2019. Féerique et magnifique!
Thank you to everyone who submitted pictures for the 'Lauragais' photo competition.
Some readers travelled enormous distances both horizontally and vertically in their attempt to win, while others displayed considerable talents for creativity and comedy.
After long and difficult deliberations, the judges have finally reached their verdicts.
In its January 2019 edition, the US magazine ‘Mules & More’ has published a double page spread about the launch of my book at the Château de Garrevaques.