Have you ever had the privilege to sleep in a hotel member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux network? Well, I did during my recent stay at Château de Mercuès and I must confess two things… The first one is that I only stayed there for one night, so I would definitely go back tomorrow morning to stay a few more days. The second thing is that I can’t wait to discover another member hotel of the network soon, as I enjoyed my experience so much!
Located in the heart of the Quercy region and overlooking the Lot river, Château de Mercuès is both a prestigious member of the Relais & Châteaux network and home to a Michelin-starred restaurant, as well as a renowned wine estate of the Cahors appellation.
A bit of 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 revolution onwards, the castle changed owners many times and it was not until the middle of the 1960s that Georges Héreil, the owner at the time, decided to turn it into an inn and a restaurant. At his death at the end of the 70’s, Georges Vigouroux, a local winemaker, bought the castle in order to keep its hotel and gastronomic vocation, while promising to restore the castle’s vineyard. Today, it is still the Vigouroux family that runs the château, through Bertrand-Gabriel, Georges’ son.
A First Class Luxury Hotel
A 4-star hotel, Château de Mercuès has been carefully renovated with the help of architect Axel Letellier, an expert in heritage buildings, to give it back its old character, while integrating the most modern technologies in each of the 24 rooms and suites that the château has. I loved the room I stayed in and would have stayed there all day to relax… if I hadn’t 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 on the Lot and the surrounding vineyards is absolutely superb. As for the pool, I’ll let you judge for yourself.
A Unique Gastronomic Experience
Dining at Chef Julien Poisot’s table was, without a doubt, the pinnacle of my experience at the Château. Believe me, the restaurant Le Duèze has not stolen its star from the prestigious Michelin Guide! Julien Poisot’s cooking is bold, precise and delicious! Julien uses a lot of aromatic herbs, condiments and vegetables that we don’t know or have forgotten about. Kudos Julien for this risk-taking that makes us (re)discover surprising flavors, sometimes unusual, but always delicious! It was also a pleasure to hear him speak with passion about his job. A great meal of course, still anchored in my memory, but also impeccable service and superb food and wine pairings with wines produced at the château! If you are visiting the Lot region, a visit to the restaurant Le Duèze is not to be missed!
A Must for Wine Lovers
Château de Mercuès belongs to the Vigouroux family. The family has been involved in wine production and trading in the Cahors region since the late 19th century. But it was not until 1983 that the family began producing wine under the name of Château de Mercuès, which is now the flagship of the range. A visit to the cellar is a must! Built under the gardens of the château and dug into the rock, the cellar is magnificent with its concrete vaults and its aligned barrels. Bertrand-Gabriel Vigouroux is the cellar master and takes great care to make the wines of Château de Mercuès among the best of the Cahors appellation: selections and vinifications by plot, long maturation, constant innovation, all contribute to sublimating the Château’s malbec vintages. These are wines that can be kept for a long time, without any doubt!
For More Information
Whether you are a fan of luxury accommodations, fine dining, wine, or all three as in my case, I can’t recommend staying at Château de Mercuès enough. I need to go back there as soon as I can!