Bed and breakfast by the Canal du Midi in the South of France
Drop Down Menu

The Village: Ventenac en Minervois

Ventenac en Minervois is a quiet, peaceful village on the Canal du Midi. The village dates back to Roman times: “Ventenachus” seems to have been a veteran of the Roman army, and he built a villa on a hill overlooking what is now the valley of the River Aude. The earliest mention of the “Villa Ventenachus” is in AD456, during the invasion of the Languedoc by the Visigoths.

Like many of the villages in the area, Ventenac grew up around the wine trade, and the main focal point of the village is the magnificent Château which overlooks the Canal. There’s been a castle in Ventenac since the twelfth century – built on the site of the Villa Ventenachus - when the village was overrun by Simon de Montfort during his crusade against the Cathars. The present-day Château de Ventenac was created in 1880, at the height of the Midi wine-boom, by Mme Seguy Saint Siran.

Bed and breakfast in ventenac en Minervois on the Canal du Midi
The Château – or, more accurately, the turreted Caveau – was taken over in 1938 by the local vignerons, who formed a cave co-opérative. The co-op’s wines are usually very good, with prize-winning reds and whites, and there is an interesting wine museum that’s free to look round.

The village has two restaurants (one closes during the winter) as well as a bakery/food shop and a post office. There are restaurants, cafés and bars in several other local villages.

Ventenac is an ideal stop-off on a cycling/walking tour of the Canal du Midi (you can see the Canal from Les Cordelines), or as the base for a sightseeing holiday of the Languedoc and Cathar country.