Have you had the privilege of sleeping in a hotel member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux hotel network? Well on my side, it was done during my recent stay at the Château de Mercuès and I must confess two things … The first is that I only stayed one night, so certainly I Would go back tomorrow morning to stay a few more days. The second is that I look forward to discovering another hotel member of the network soon, as I enjoyed my experience!
Located in the heart of Quercy and overlooking the Lot, the Château de Mercuès is both a prestigious member of the Relais & Châteaux network, home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a renowned vineyard of the Cahors appellation.
A little history
The construction of this medieval castle took place between the 13th and 17th centuries. During this period, the Château de Mercuès was the summer residence of the Counts-Bishops of Cahors. From the time of the revolution, the castle changed hands many times and it was not until the middle of the 60’s, that Georges Héreil the owner of the time decided to make it an inn and a restaurant. When he died in the late 1970s, it was Georges Vigouroux, a local winemaker, who bought the château to maintain its hotel and gastronomic vocation, while promising to restore the château’s vineyard. Today, it is still the family Vigouroux who is at the head of the castle, through Bertrand-Gabriel, the son of Georges.
A very luxurious hotel
A 4-star hotel, the Château de Mercuès has been carefully renovated with the help of architect Axel Letellier, an expert in heritage buildings, to give it its old-fashioned charm, while incorporating the most modern technologies into each of the 24 rooms and suites of the castle. I loved the room I stayed in and I would have stayed there all day to relax … if I had not had to go out to enjoy all the amenities of the castle. Walking around the castle is a must for any history or heritage lover. The view of the Lot and the surrounding vineyards is absolutely superb.
A unique gastronomic experience
Chef Julien Poisot’s dinner was, without a doubt, the pinnacle of my experience at the château. Believe me, the restaurant Le Duèze has not usurped its star at the prestigious Michelin Guide! The cooking of Julien Poisot is audacious, precise and delicious! Julien uses a lot of aromatic herbs, condiments and vegetables that we do not know or have forgotten about. Congratulations Julien for this risk taking that makes us (re) discover surprising flavors, sometimes unusual, but always succulent! It was also a pleasure to hear him speak passionately about his job. A great meal obviously, still anchored in my memory, but also impeccable service and superb food and wine pairing with wines produced at the château! Lovers of extraordinary gastronomic experiences, if you are visiting the Lot, a visit to Le Duèze restaurant is not to be missed!
The Château de Mercuès belongs to Maison Vigouroux. The family has been involved in the production and trading of wine in the Cahors region since the end of the 19th century. But it was not until 1983 that the family produced wine under the name Château de Mercuès, which is now the flagship of the range. The visit of the winery is absolutely necessary! Built under the gardens of the castle and dug into the rock, the winery is beautiful with concrete vaults and barrels aligned. It is Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux who acts as cellar master and watches with particular attention to make wines of Château de Mercuès among the best of the Cahors appellation: Selective vinification, long breeding, constant innovation, contribute to sublimate the Malbec vintages of the Château. Long-life wines, of course!