26 centuries ago the first vines and olive trees were planted by the Romans. Nowadays, the region between Agde and Adissan along the Hérault river is still particularly favourable to wine production because of its climate and varied soils. Red, rosé and white wines are produced as well as sweet wines. This diversity and quality have been acknowledged by renowned wine guides (Parker, Michelin). More and more winemakers choose to produce organic wines, others make natural wines with almost no alcohol, there are many choices.
While taking a holiday in Cap d’Agde Méditerranée, you can taste wines in over 90 wine estates open to the public. Most of the wine tastings are free, but to make the most of it, you’d better use the spittoons provided!
This region has also kept the tradition of growing olives. You can visit the oil mill in Bessan. The guided tour and tastings are free, and the lovely shop offers a wide range of different olives, oils, tapenade (spread) and gifts. Each olive and oil has a different taste and must be used according to your dish.
Cap d’Agde Méditerranée is a region of seafood. Everyday, the fishing boats bring their catch of mackerels, whitings, red mullets, soles, turbots, sea breams, sea snails to the different markets to be sold from 3.30 pm. You can attend the auction in Grau d’Agde from a platform above and visit the fishing exhibition. Grilled or served with a sauce, fish is the indispensable ingredient to your Mediterranean holidays.
A dish in this region wouldn’t be complete without the local mild onions used in sauces and gravies. This onion typical from the area grows in Lézignan la Cèbe near Pézenas. It is very mild but with a great taste. You can buy them on the local markets or at stalls along the main street.
For your sweet tooth, you need to head to Pézenas where you can find 2 specialities. The first one is the Berlingot, a boiled sweet made with sugar and natural flavours by the Boudet family. You can taste the berlingot in a shop on Place Gambetta, Pézenas, or discover its making process in their factory on the outskirts of Pézenas from May to September.
The second delicacy is actually English. The “petit pâté de Pézenas” is the recipe of the original sweet and salty mince pie made with actual mince meat. It was given by Lord Clive of India in 1768 and was passed on from baker to baker. So the original English mince pie is made in Pézenas south of France!
Nézignan is famous for its figs: an orchard with 80 different species of fig trees can be visited and the figs are prepared in pastries sold locally. Bessan has a pastry called the croustade made with grapes or chocolate and walnuts. All the bakers sell it, but you might have to order it. It is allowed if not advised to lick your fingers!