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Living like a local in authentic French Village of St. Cécile-les-Vignes

We have been staying in the little village of St. Cécile-les-Vignes in the same lovely villa for almost 12 years now. Our home for the tour has 7 bedrooms, 7 baths and allows guests plenty of privacy yet also some common space as well. It is tucked away in the village, giving you a feeling of being in the country, while only a 5 minute walk into the village.

All the amenities you need are close by. There are several restaurants, from the elegant traditional french meal at the Farigoule, the Michelin guide recommended C.V.G., hearty pasta or pizza at l'Angelus, or tapas and wine at the local wine bar.

One can also find pizza to go, buy a few provisions at the little Casino grocery store or get a mini quiche or my personal favorite the fougasse (olive/bread/pretzel) at one of the 3 bakeries. Why not pick up some local produce at the market while we are out and cook or prepare a fresh salad at home in the evening? The fully equipped kitchen is open to all.

Our village has a Post Office, an ATM & bank, a great floral/gift shop, massage therapy, a clothing boutique, an art exhibit at the office of tourism and many of the 3-4 cafés offering food menus as well.

St. Cécile has 2323 habitants, 100 active artisans and businesses, 2 wine cooperatives as well as 12 small “caves”.

As the name infers, it’s a place that is all about wine! The fertile plain is planted with vines as far as the eye can see. Wine culture has been here since antiquity but one needs to wait until 1381 to find the first written mention of the vineyards. After the 16th century large “domaines” were constructed and the wine industry became more import with exportation. In 1827 the municipality decided to give up some of the common “garrigue” (a brushy often scratchy landscape found in this part of France) to cultivation. It was no small undertaking to clear and plant the vines, yet in 1874 the phylloxera plague hit, killing all the vines. The winemakers of St. Cecile did not give up however, but planted new more robust vines. In 1927 Cave Cecilia opened it’s doors followed in 1936 by Vignerons Reunis, both places offering free tastings and a full range of wines.

The territory of Sainte Cécile has always been occupied by man. More than 90 archeological sites have been discovered bearing witness to prehistoric human occupation. Flint and blades from the neolithic time as well as ceramics from the Roman Empire have been discovered as well as a workshop where wine amphores (jugs) and ceramics were created nearby.

The first mention of Sainte-Cécile in a text was in 1177. That’s when the primitive church dedicated to Sainte Cécile (the actual Chapelle Sainte Croix) was started. At that time, the community didn’t even exist, but it is believed that at the beginning of the 14th century a small conglomeration of dwellings was created belted by a fortification with only a few doors. (One which remains to this day).

Formerly known as Cécile la Montagnarde, the name was changed in 1920 to Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes because of it’s reputation as a great wine area.

Many events take place here such as a Saturday morning market, a rosé wine festival and my personal favorite, the “Lire entre les Vignes” festival, “read between the wines” celebrating literature and the written word, amongst the vines.

We still have a few rooms available so why don't you join us this summer! For more information visit; or email Beth at (phone 202 746-8200).

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