DISCOVER THE COMPTOIR DE LA CITE’S HISTORY
THE VIGNOBLES FONCALIEU WINES, A WINE GROWER’S SOUL SINCE 1967
Committed to a quest for excellence, Les Vignobles Foncalieu farm 4000 hectares of vineyards in the heart of Languedoc in southern France, from Carcassonne to Beziers. It’s within this mosaic of countryside between sea and mountain that our 650 wine growers work daily to offer unique wines that are becoming increasingly sought after both in France and abroad.
It’s in this spirit that the Foncalieu vineyards, whose wine cellar is based in Arzens near Carcassonne, have been searching for a place closer to their consumers for a long time, providing the values of authenticity and quality which are dear to it. After acquiring the Haut-Gléon Château, a renowned wine estate at the heart of Corbières offering prestigious guesthouses, in 2012, Les Vignobles Foncalieu had our heart set on the old palace from the Belle Époque, registered as a French historic monument to become the Comptoir de la Cité.
An exceptional site which we hope to reveal through wine tastings and enological activities!
THE COMPTOIR DE LA CITE’S HISTORY
It’s actually an old distillery created in 1885 by Michel Sabatier, a renowned 19th century manufacturer and patron, who had the clever idea of marketing a liqueur (43% alcohol), which he christened La Micheline.
Michel Sabatier wasn’t just an experienced entrepreneur. He used part of his fortune to promote the arts in his town. The symbol of these aesthetic worries was at the very centre of his concerns: industrial facilities rose up in the middle of gardens peppered with caves, waterfalls and aviaries, of which a few remains still survive at the Comptoir de la Cité.
The ballroom was inaugurated on these premises in 1902. It was lit up by three chandeliers and its walls are still completely covered with mirrors and golden mouldings of the time.
This Carcassonne entrepreneur had a very flamboyant character and on 13 August 1898, where he received the Captains of Gascony, he didn’t hesitate to finance the first Cité de Carcassonne fireworks display.
When the old distillery closed in 1939, the building passed through several hands without the ballroom on the first floor or the courtyard being modified.
It was in 2017 that the Vignobles Foncalieu wine growers opened the doors of this historic monument and instantly fell in love with it. Becoming the owner of this exceptional site is fulfilling one of our dearest wishes: finally creating a complete and promising oenotouristc site in Carcassonne.
It would take a year and a half to refurbish this listed site: a work of art to poeticise the artistic elements of this historic heritage, modernise the reception reserved for the public and enhance the producers’ wines. It is a real link between past and present (contemporary art and new art), as well as between the Foncalieu wine growers and you thanks to our wine specialists who will make you discover the best wines of the region.