de Vendanges, is a wonderful weekend of festivities, parades, flea market,
car boot sale, house clearout sales, craftsmen and craftswomen plying
their trade, folklore, and music, in the village of Ouveillan,
about 15 kms from Narbonne, and a similar distance from Beziers. Come
to enjoy the life of this lively village, recreating the toil and festivities
of days past as well as traditions and skills that live on today.
Until your visit to Ouveillan, and the Fête de Vendanges in October visit this feature story - an edited english translation of a french introduction to the Festival by Jean-Pierre Orth of "La Caponada", about the festival.
plain, where the river now takes its current course is what remains of an
ancient coastline where the étangs (salt marshes and lakes) have
dried up. It is here amongst the variety of the communities, native soils,
varied cultures, and interesting villages one finds Ouveillan.
Ouveillan dominates the plain from a high hill, with a distinctive church steeple, old streets, and ramparts and the shape of a feudal castle revealed through the criss-cross pattern of walls, tiled rooves, and buttresses now no longer used.
Like a lot of villages of the Lower Languedoc, Ouveillan has seen great changes, since the time when the étang dried up and when the Cistercian monks of Fontfroide built a barn at Fontcalvy.
This peaceful market town, and its surrounding region has lived through four great events, all linked to the vine, and this in a little more than a hundred years:
1. The extensive planting of vineyards after 1850.
2. Philoxerra destroying the vines.
3. The slump in the wine business.
4. The influx of Spanish vignerons between the wars.
On the Narbonnais plain Ouveillan is representative of a Languedoc village where past traditions and present industry work hand in hand and are well represented. Come to this year's Fête de Vendanges, Ouveillan, Aude.!
Weather and Climate for Ouveillan - 26 kms from the Mediterranean
Languedoc Guide | Canal du Midi Guide