The latest news from the Languedoc – October ’11

new capital gains tax – real estate market review Languedoc-Roussillon – grape harvest – wine making process – restaurant & wine reviews – duck recipe – properties for sale – looking for work – weather – Abbaye de Fontfroide – French etiquette

Bienvenue !

Welcome to our Autumn Newsletter. At the time of writing this, it still feels like summer here with record temperatures for October but there are telltale signs that the vines are about to turn red and golden and the trees are heavily laden with fruit and nuts.

We have included topical articles on the grape harvest (vendanges) and the vinification process - as we write there is a hive of activity in the vineyards to bring in this year’s crop which is forecast to be very good year this year. There is an interesting little snippet on French etiquette plus an update on the new capital gains tax effective from February 2012 and an overview of the property market in Languedoc-Roussillon. An interesting day out is to be had at the Abbey of Fontfroide, in the Aude department, which is one of the most complete abbey complexes remaining today.

We have our regular reviews on a restaurant, a wine and this edition’s recipe is roast duck breast with various saucy options. We hope you enjoy it.

Experience the Difference!

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The average high temperature during July, August & September in Montpellier was


with a recorded high of 39°C and 85% days of sunshine

Looking for Work ?

We are looking to expand our professional team of consultants, particularly in the Gard, Béziers and Carcassonne areas. We are looking for people who are bilingual with previous business experience, preferably in sales. Also, we are looking to expand our network of ‘apporteurs d’affaires’ - people who indicate properties for sale to us (there is an introduction fee if the property is sold by us).

For more details please

call us on +33 467 36 36 80


email us at

New Capital Gains Tax

With effect from 1st February 2012, the way capital gains is calculated will change on the sale of property which isn't your main residence, e.g., a second home or holiday home.

Read more about New Capital Gains Tax ...

2011 - A good year

Wine buffs will be able to rattle off ‘good years’ in chronological order and apparently 2011 is destined for this list. With the vendanges (grape harvest) in full swing from late August to early October, we asked some local vignerons ‘what makes a good year’?

When they talk about a year, they really do mean a whole twelve months, which start right from when the last grapes were picked all the way round to the next harvest. Everything that happens during these twelve months all contribute to the quality of the grapes and ultimately the quality of the wine produced from them.
Read more about 2011 - A good year ...

Wine Review October 2011 - Château Massamier La Mignarde, Pépieux

The Property Market in Languedoc Roussillon, South of France

Languedoc Roussillon has enjoyed a privileged position in the French real estate market for some years now. The fact it is holding that position in these tumultuous times is a testament to the good choices that people who have recently acquired a property in the Languedoc Roussillon have made.
Read more about The Property Market in Languedoc Roussillon, South of France...

Do you know your ‘p’s from your ‘q’s ?
A guide to French etiquette

The word etiquette (translated in English as ‘label’) originated during the reign of King Louis XIV when his gardener at Versailles put up signs (étiquets) politely asking the King’s noble guests not to walk on the grass or the flower beds. Later, the name étiquette was given to a ticket for court functions that included rules regarding where to stand and what to do.

Over time the word has evolved and today is seen as a guide to good manners in all the things we do in our daily lives.
Read more about Do you know your ‘p’s from your ‘q’s ? - A guide to French etiquette...

Abbey de Fontfroide

The Abbey of Fontfroide, located near Narbonne in the Aude, is one of the most complete abbey complexes remaining today.

It was founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1093 by the Viscount of Narbonne but remained poor and obscure until in 1144 it affiliated itself to the Cistercian reform movement. The cloisters and chapter house date from the 12th century and are excellent examples of Romanesque architecture. In 1157 the Viscountess Ermengard of Narbonne granted it a great quantity of land locally, thus securing its wealth and status.
Read more about Abbey de Fontfroide ...

Restaurant Review - La Bergerie (near Carcassonne)

Recipe – Magret de canard (duck breast)

Duck is probably the most underestimated bird, however, it is far tastier than chicken or turkey, but not as ‘gamey’ as partridge or pheasant. It is extremely tasty and very versatile and particularly delicious with a fruity sauce. It’s cheaper than beef and more impressive on that dinner party menu!

The easiest thing to tell you is how to cook your duck breast and then give you a couple of different sauces and accompaniments to go with it.
Read more about Recipe – Magret de canard (duck breast) ...

How to … make wine !

Every year the little villages in the region burst into acitivity in the early hours of the morning as they race against time to get the grapes in. Tractors and grape picking machines trundle up and down the roads between the vineyards and the caves. Weary vignerons are found at the end of the day, propping up the bar in the local café, drinking a well-earned pastis.
Read more about How to … make wine ! ...

À Bientôt

That’s all for now. As ever, I do hope you have enjoyed our Newsletter and found it useful.

Call us on
+33 (0) 4 67 36 36 80

or by email


With best wishes

Annelise Bosshard
Managing Director
AB Real Estate