Chateau La Croix Martelle

The rugged landscape is a place of secrets, yet it reveals dazzling treasures. Palaeolithic cave dwellings and dolmens exist alongside quiet little Romanesque chapels like that at Centeilles, while from the tops of Saracen towers can be seen, dotted about, the ageless stone shepherds' huts known as "capitelles".

In the heart of the Minervois, on the gentle lower slopes of the lesser Causse, lie the vineyards of Minervois La Livinière. This is a new AOC created in 1999 and comprising six communes including Siran. Its climate, and its soils (part limestone marls and hard limestones, ideal for the Mourvèdre and Grenache grapes, and part schists and red marls best for Syrah), make for a wine that is truly out of the ordinary and unique to this place.

Siran, which lies in the heart of this terroir, derives its name from a Gallo-Roman villa belonging to Sirus. Very probably he was one of the legionnaries of Domitius Aenobarbus whose exemplary conduct was rewarded by a grant of land. Local history tells us that Sirus settled here nearby a Roman road linking Narbonne to Castres, linking the lowlands to the mountains. On days when the weather conditions are just right, the distant Mediterranean and the snow-capped Pyrenees can be seen from the top of Pic Saint-Martin with, nearer to hand, the castle of La Croix Martelle.

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