Spotlight on Bordeaux
- 28 March 2022
Bordeaux is the sixth biggest city in France, with an inner city population of around 250,000. The locals are known as... Read More
Duras is a quiet town that is above all known for the local wine and the magnificent Chateau de Duras
Duras is situated in the Lot-et-Garonne department and Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and is perfect for a day of exploration.
One of the main sights that attracts visitors is the Chateau de Duras. Originally built in the 12th century, the chateau de Duras was fortified in the early 14th century, then subsequently transformed in the 17th century into accommodation more suited to residential use, with many luxurious touches being added in the process. As with many French castles it suffered serious damage during the revolution, but the second half of the 20th century has seen the castle substantially renovated.
There is also a medieval clocktower, and a sprinkling of attractive houses to enjoy while exploring, and the impressive Maison des Vins commemorating the highly regarded wines of the region.
You can start your visit right in the town centre with a look at the clocktower. This building was originally part of the 12th century ramparts that once defended the town. Apparently there were originally four of these imposing gateways but now only one remains. Note that the clock and the steep Perigourdine style roof were added to the tower much later, in the 17th century.
Duras is also, of course, well known for its wines and no visit would be complete without taking a couple of bottles home with you. Much the best place to start your researches is the Maison des Vins in Duras which stocks a very large range of local wine and also features an exhibition about the local wine industry, and an interesting garden where you can see various vines and learn about the differences between them.
Not to be confused, Duras is also the name of a traditional French variety of red wine grape that is mostly grown around the river Tarn, northeast of Toulouse. It is usually blended with other traditional varieties, but production has been declining in recent years.Despite the name the grape appears to have no connection with the Côtes de Duras east of Bordeaux, and is not grown there today.
The town of Duras has a good selection of restaurants where you can enjoy a meal accompanied by one of the local Duras wines. Vins & Flots (16 Pl. du 11 Novembre) is a good choice for a reasonably inexpensive meal. Vegetarian options are available. In the evening there is often live music