Karen and Tootie were here for five days last week, and it was so much fun to share Carcassonne with my Colorado friends!

On their first day, we visited Château de Pennautier (15 minutes from home) for an English-language guided tour and a superb lunch.

The Château was founded in 1620 (wow, when the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth), and its original two wings from 1620 still stand.

It’s called “The Little Versailles of the Languedoc” because it really is like a very small Versailles. (The Versailles architect and gardener both contributed greatly to the Château’s creation.)

There aren’t many French Châteaux built in the 1600s that are lovingly lived in generations later by direct descendants. This is special. This is unique. Ten generations later, Count Nicolas, Countess Miren and their family still live here today.

When you walk through the Château you see childrens’ books and toys, and recent family photos – they really do live there!

Count Nicholas (generation 10) was there when we were, and he led the one-hour French language tour! Lovely tour guide Melanie led the rest of us on the English language tour, and Countess Miren dropped in.

The family is passionate about their grapes, the region, creating wine, and preserving and sharing the history of the Château and their six wine estates.

Here are some more photos:

The dining room where the family dines together when they’re all there:

On July 14, 1622, the young king Louis XIII stayed in the Château, and gave his traveling furniture (below) to the Château’s Founder, Bernard de Rech de Pennautier.

The lovely little chapel dates to the 1800s.

After our tour, we had an excellent 3-course lunch at their restaurant, the Table du Château.

Then, a wine tasting in their wine boutique, the Cave du Château, and some shopping.

The finale – watching a group of men play boules, a bus trip through the lovely village of Pennautier, and then back home.


Guided tours in English, June 1 – Sept 15, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 am. Cost: €9

The Gardens are open every day all year for you to walk through, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Sundays are unique – on Sundays the gardens are only open in summer). No charge.

Château contact information: +33 (0)4 68 72 65 29, contact@lorgeril.com

Restaurant contact information: +33 (0)4 68 25 63 48, restaurant@lorgeril.com

www.lorgeril.com  Their website shows you their other wine estates that you can visit.

You can also stay at the Château – there are 13 4-star rooms and 2 suites. Minimum two rooms per stay. And they have two gîtes at their Domaine de Garille (which is about a 7 minute drive from Château de Pennautier.)

They also host weddings, seminars and group stays.

Bus #10 takes you from key stops in Carcassonne*, and drops you off right between the Château and the restaurant. (*Bus stops include Le Dome; Gambetta J. Jaures (near Place Gambetta) and the train station (bus stop is called Chenier, and if you walk from the train station toward our pedestrian street, the bus stop is just at the far edge of the park on your right.) Bus fare one-way: €1.

Or, it’s a 14-minute drive from the center of Carcassonne (La Bastide).

The first Thursday of every month in summer, the restaurant offers lovely live music. Check it out on their website.



  • Marilyn R Kroner says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks about Downton Abbey when looking at these photos! Beautiful!

  • Ed says:

    Lovely chateau! Guess we’ll miss the guided tours when we come in October. Are there any special trips across Europe visiting different chateaus when their owners are not closing up their homes to visitors? Would be fun to see these old homes on one continuous tour!