With a strong wine-growing past, the Domaine de l’Ale, near Béziers, is reinventing itself in accommodation and events

With a strong wine-growing past, the Domaine de l’Ale, near Béziers, is reinventing itself in accommodation and events

Initially wine-producing, the Domaine de l'Ale chose to delve into accommodation and events, particularly the organization of weddings. Angèle RAVENET

In the heart of Capestang, between vineyards, olive trees and the Canal du Midi, the Domaine de l'Ale is celebrating, on March 23 and 24, the 10th edition of its wedding fair, an unmissable event for future married. Stéphanie Mortès-Bayyou looks back on the evolution of the family estate acquired in 1934 by her great-grandfather.

Historically, the Domaine de l’Ale is a wine estate. Its transformation into a reception room began in 2004, under the leadership of Daniel and Claudine Mortès, Stéphanie's parents. "My father had joined my grandfather a few years earlier to help him with the wine business. The idea of ​​the transformation came to him when, invited to a wedding, the bride and groom told him of their difficulty in finding a pretty room.

S’followed by two intense years of work to restore the existing buildings and create the main reception room of 220 m², which hosted its first weddings in 2006. Two years later, the estate is already sold out. And the arrival of Stéphanie in 2011 gives it additional momentum.

Wedding planner training

"After ten years in real estate, I decided to join my parents in this magnificent adventure. I am training as a wedding planner, with the desire to perpetuate this family heritage. Over the years, the estate has developed its offering to offer a complete service to future brides and grooms: accommodation – with the creation of five guest rooms, two gîtes and a chalet – from the catering service to the decoration.

Stéphanie's active participation in the Narbonne wedding fair and the launch of her own salon, from 2014, also increased the visibility and success of the family estate. In 2023, it hosted 41 weddings, 6 corporate evenings, 12 “Canal à vélo” groups, 4 birthdays and New Year's Eve.

10th edition of the wedding fair

The idea of ​​launching your own wedding fair was born from the desire to create a dedicated moment for these newlyweds of the current year and of the year next. "I embarked on this project with the photographer Elsa Studio. And given the success of the 1st edition, we decided to continue and even think bigger to offer even more choice to visitors. While remaining on the model of a family living room, intimate and warm. A bit like our domain!"

From the 2nd year, the show welcomes 28 exhibitors, then more than 40 the following year. For the edition of March 23 and 24, 2024, 120 couples are already expected. "The advantage of this show is that over a weekend, the future bride and groom will be able to complete their wedding from A to Z!" On the exhibitor side, they will be 46: DJs, caterers, photographers but also new event professions – ceramist, coffee food truck, ice cream parlor…

New projects to come

"This show is also a real moment of exchange and sharing with the future bride and groom as well as with the service providers we meet often in bursts of wind during the season". A season which is increasingly long and intense: the estate even hosts weddings during the week to meet demand! A frantic pace which does not prevent Stéphanie from imagining new projects.

The renovation of a bridal suite is underway and the development of the corporate seminar offering is also under consideration: The objective is to smooth the activity throughout of the year, including during the off-peak period of winter.

Bio expresse

1934: purchase of the Ale wine estate by the great-grandfather of Stéphanie Mortès-Bayyou.
2004: launch of work to transform the estate by his parents.
2006: first wedding season.
2010: creation of the first guest rooms.
2011: arrival of Stéphanie at the family estate.
2014: first edition of the wedding fair.

Domaine de l’Ale, chemin de l’Ale, in Capestang; www.domainedelale.fr.
Wedding fair: Saturday 23, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday March 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free entry.

Free Midi Correspondent: 06 77 11 04 92

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