Mistral – what a cool name. ”A strong, cold north-westerly wind that blows through the Rhône valley and southern France towards the Mediterranean” – according to the Oxford Dictionary. Which is precisely where Provence is situated. The air is dry, the sky bright and clear and the temperature usually gets a lot cooler.
If you’ve been to Provence you have surely driven past many of these houses. A Mas is a traditional farmhouse, largely self-sufficient with its own fruit, vegetables, grain, milk, meat and sometimes silkworms. It was constructed with inexpensive local materials; stones or wood from the area.
It is a nice and sunny day and everyone seems to be in a good mood. There is lively banter from the stallholders and if you need to sit down for a bit then have a drink at one of the many bars along the square and sidestreets. Overshadowing everything are the old buildings which are worth a visit themselves.
We received a call from the Cotignac Wine Club about two weeks ago. Their meeting place in the cellar of Didier’s wine shop was getting rather cramped, and they were hoping we could help them out by allowing January’s get-together to be hosted in at Mirabeau.
It is December now and you could be forgiven for thinking that it is winter – the season of festive cheer; cozy fireplaces to ward of the chill of long nights and the possibility of snow ever present. Here in Provence the weather can be rather cold as well, with long periods of rain, but mostly the mid-afternoon sun manages to warm you just enough.
Sometime in early October, after the harvest, winemakers—mostly located in a small area of Provence at the base of Mont Sainte Victoire, between Aix-en-Provence and Trets—begin the annual tradition of making “vin cuit” or “cooked wine.”
In addition to the regular weekly markets each Saturday in Aups, on the 4th Sunday of January, they organise an amazing black truffle festival. The programme includes a truffle market with other local produce, a truffle hunting demonstration, local families dancing in beautiful Provençal costumes, a truffle dog competition, conferences, book signings, exhibitions around the […]
The Christmas table used to be laid in a beautiful manner, with 3 white tablecloths (one on top of the other, representing purity), 3 chandeliers for lots of light and 3 plates with sprouted wheat and a twig of hops representing nature’s renewal…
So, I’m beginning to try to understand a little more about these furry critters that cause so much of a stir around these parts. And not just the wild boars, but the chasseurs too, as they seem to have more rights anyone else to walk onto private property and shoot things.
The wines of Burgundy can be somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, this wonderful wine region should be fairly easy to understand. After all, there are really only two grape varieties grown here – Pinot Noir for the reds and Chardonnay for the white. And yet this region encompasses over 400 appellations and some truly […]
The wines of Burgundy and Chablis don’t (generally) state the name of the grape on the label and because of this many people don’t realise that the whites are 100% chardonnay. So why is it that there is really no comparison between a chardonnay from, say, California or Australia and their Burgundian cousins? Here the President […]
The top white wines from Burgundy are by reputation the finest white wines on the planet. And you know what, they are all 100% chardonnay. In this short video, the President of Maison Louis Jadot, Pierre-Henry Gagey explains where to find the best whites from the region.
The Hospices de Beaune charity auction been arranged annually since 1851, taking place on the third Sunday in November amid a three-day festival devoted to the food and wines of Burgundy called Les Trois Glorieuses.