How can you not fall under the spell of this winery with its neo-Louis XIII mansion built in 1860 by one of the last descendants of the Bailiff of Suffren (who became a sailor at a very young age and as an adept & audacious strategist was very successful, both serving in the Marine Royale and in the Order of Malta, later becoming its commander and bailiff) ? Not to mention its majestic platane trees which for the most part are well over three hundred years old, surrounding and protecting the winery. Or this bit of water where the winery is reflected all year long, its rich history an open invitation to travel in time.
Preïssan, a name given to the winery in year, ... we are on the foundations of a Roman villa, owned by Prexanus (the monolithic marble column above is part of whats left and was salvaged to build a crucifix). The trapezoidal, stone-carved graves remind us that the Visigoths came through here. This carved head takes us back to the Middle Ages and perhaps more exactly to the Carolingian era.
La Commanderie, even though it was run by the Hospitaliers, makes us think immediately of their enemy brothers the Knights Templar and their fabulous treasure. The presence of a dovecot in the XVIII th century castle highlights the riches of its occupants, the Frégoze, a famous Genoese family enfeoffed at Ouveillan in 1594 by a relative who at the time was the commendatory abbot of the Fontfroide Abbey.
However the best way to discover the magic of this place is to stop your car (on road D5) or your boat (Canal du Midi - EDB Guide #7 Page 77) between La Croisade and Capestang.
We hope to see you soon