malves chateau 3Welcome to Malves en Minervois. As its official Web site says, it’s “a charming village of about 825 inhabitants nestled in a green setting.” True.

It has a fabulous renaissance château from the 16th century, with 300 square meters per floor (think of the heat bill!). There are some pretty wonderful painted ceilings and frescoes. And a big park behind the château, where they sometimes have arts or food fairs.

malves catThese photos were taken around 9 p.m. on a Friday night. Just sayin’.

Stone houses….malves trees

Sharply shorn trees….

malves corner house

Odd little houses with entries like afterthoughts. There was an elderly lady sitting in the garden around the corner whom I startled as I went by. Clearly unusual to have strangers wandering about. Birds, yes. Photographers, no.

There ARE some things to do, besides stroll. There’s a café next to the château that’s sometimes open. And a little grocery. I was just passing through and couldn’t resist the light. And the flowers in unexpected places.

Of course, there’s a winery. Don’t be silly! Château Malves-Bousquet, next to the big château. It’s good, too–Minervois has some excellent wines. We’ll go into that another time.

Malves road



The other day we decided to play tourist and went to a village fête in Belpech. As we wandered through the festivities, we picked up a dish for lasagne. By Revol, made in France.

The baskets also were made in France, by the father of the guy selling the dishes. I love that people know how to make such beautiful things.

basketsThere was music.

Sorry, his wooden sabots aren’t shown

And plenty to eat, of course.

And there was a défilé of old tractors. In our village, one vigneron drives a very, very, very old Lambourghini …. tractor. Who knew?

Well, here, we saw a Porsche.


And lots of other wonders.

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For a schedule of local festivities, check out …. flâner means stroll about for the pleasure of it, not so much to walk as to look; bouger means to move.