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Lucq de Bearn, SW France - Jurancon Wine - A great French secret

This area is home to the Jurancon wine region and served by Pau Pyrenees airport from which there are direct flights to Paris, Lyons, Belgium, Holland and the UK. There are two main regional centres Monein and Jurancon (from which the wine takes its name), along the villages of Lucq de Bearn, Gan, Cardesse and Lahourade. The varieties grown here will probably be unfamiliar to most wine lovers - they are the gros manseng and the petit manseng. These vines are grown over the hillsides facing the Pyrenees mountains and are picked late compared with many other southern French regions. Historically this appellation was reputably this first to gain its status in France and was used in the blessing of the baby King Henri IV as he was put in his cradle, a large turtle shell, now is on display in the chateau of Pau.

The wine is available both as sec (dry) or doux (sweet). The sec is a fruity, well balanced dry wine. The sweet, the more famous, can be made from either just the gros manseng (least expensive), a mixture of both the gros and petit manseng or as pure petit manseng (the most expensive). Prices vary from a very reasonable 5 euros to about 150 euros for the best vintage, from best vineyards, with many wines available less than 10euros a bottle. The doux is wonderful with foie gras. Often drunk by the French as an aperitif and by other nationalities as a dessert wine.

There are about 30 domains in the entire area many of which are open to the public either throughout the year or on special occasions. The domain in Lucq de Bearn, Domaine Larroude, has been in the same family ownership for many years and boasts in small tasting centre open daily which also offers the neighbouring farms duck products for sale as well as their excellent and well priced wines.

So, if you fancy a short break or week away wine tasting, why not find a bargain flight and come, see and taste what this area has to offer, because the wine is just one thing amongst the spectacular scenery, historic towns and villages, elegant boulevards of Pau itself, the amazing local foods and you can be sure of a very friendly welcome from the local Bearnaise people.

Written by Gillian Pye - Owner of Property 94840 in Lucq de Bearn, France

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Recent Reviews

Well-situated and appointed river-side property

5 of 5
This property is probably most popular in the warmer months, but we spent a wonderful two weeks at Christmastime with a spacious home as our base for exploring the region. It is ideally situated and an easy drive to destinations such as Pau, Biarritz, Spain, and the Basque country, and there are local supermarkets and restaurants a short drive (less than 10 minutes) away. The house is large enough to sleep more, but the two of us appreciated the space, furnishings, and facilities. We enjoy food shopping at markets and there is at least one every day of the week in this area. Cooking back home is easy and if an appliance or implement isn’t available in the kitchen, the owners next door will happily share theirs. The bedroom was comfortable and all rooms are well-lit with the shutters open and snug in winter, cool in summer with the shutters closed at night. The main bathroom was large and we appreciated having a real bath/shower, as many rented accommodations only have a tiny shower. There is internet access, but the signal is week. We never had a problem though, and it was much nicer to while away our evenings playing some of the many available board games and watching seasonal DVDs on the flat screen TV. There are lots of things to do here for children, including games, a pool, the extensive grounds, and even feeding the chickens and goats. We used the fireplace every night, but for summer visitors, the river-view terrace will be equally appreciated. The sound of the river, the hooting of the owls, and the starry skies drew us outdoors regardless of the weather. Our hosts, Ian and Bernadette were very accommodating while never being intrusive. They were available if we needed them, but otherwise we had the place to ourselves. They brought us brochures of activities and events in the area, provided us with extras for our stay, invited us for Christmas drinks and canapés, and provided pleasant conversation. I would highly recommend this property for many reasons and would certainly return when visiting this area again.
  • Review Submitted: Jan 05, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2016

Delightful cottage in lovely village and setting at Lourdios Ichere (Not Issor but close)

4 of 5
We were made immediately welcome by owner Michel who gave us a quick tour of everything and some background to the cottage. It is very well set out and everything clean and bright. It is situated adjacent to a babbling stream, with trout and birds to watch. Our only initial problem was that as Australian visitors we do not carry bed linen with us, but Michel quickly organised that. We also found the bright street lights strange, but good shutters fix that issue at night and it is a heavenly peaceful place. The village is gorgeous, very pretty and friendly, tucked into a fold of the mountains, and extremely interesting. If you get a chance, go visit the Ecomusee up the road 800 metres from the cottage. There you can hear how this village came into being in a very different way from many other older established settlements, and also about the rise of women shepherds in the region. There are many good walks to be found, and good shopping a bit of a drive away - there are no shops in the village. The nearest big town is Oloron Ste Marie, which has a great market and some friendly cafes and eateries, along with beautiful old architecture and the river. In the opposite direction at Accus, not far away from Lourdios, you can go and shop, then watch hang gliders coming down a mountain while enjoying a good meal (along with the resident cat). The black currant tart was to die for. All up a great place to stay, I would recommend it to anyone.
  • Review Submitted: Oct 05, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016