The summer is over. It’s time for the to-ing and fro-ing of grape-pickers and tractors wending their way backwards and forwards, from cellar to vineyards. Although there’s a lovely, friendly atmosphere, grape-picking is also genuinely hard work. It’s not always fun, particularly at the end of the day, when you’ve been bent double since early morning, labouring under a blazing sun. But don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you try this!
For several years now the winegrowers of Château Pesquié have been welcoming wine enthusiasts. On fine days visitors can even take advantage of this superb setting for picnics. You are given a wicker basket filled with local produce and the estate’s wine and then it’s up to you, enjoy a country meal in an idyllic setting!
What a great idea to stroll in the vineyards with your loved one, riding a Solex moped, on the small routes of the Piémont du Ventoux!
Did you say it’s noisy? Not at all! Nothing like the Solex from when I was a child, a nice little powered bicycle whose engine could be spotted from very far away! These are known as an e-Solex, and are made for a sustainable development. On the way for a stroll full of beautiful surprises…
After exiting the Nesque Gorges, nestled into the foothills of Mont Ventoux, you will find the village of Villes sur Auzon and its cooperative cellar named Terraventoux.
This is an area particularly well-suited to cultivating vineyards, with a remarkable diversity and richness, as explained by Richard Oms, the wine expert of the beautiful and vast TerraVentoux cellar.
For the last few years the Mouriesse wine laboratory in Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been developing wine tasting workshops for individuals and wine enthusiasts of all levels. Perfect for shattering the myths surrounding wine tasting; you will finally be able to find the words and know what to look out for when tasting a good wine or even an average wine. I slipped into an introductory workshop with a few beginners, to see if we could get away with telling the wine maker “This one’s got legs!” without being politely shown the door.
In winter, the vineyards and soil may be resting, but not the wine producers! As, after it has produced its fruits having bathed in sunlight, the sap returns back towards the knot of the vine, and leaves shoots to be trimmed. This is the time for pruning, and the Chêne Bleu vineyard resonates with the sound of electric secateurs. Well covered against the elements, the pruners slowly work their way down the rows, at the heart of a sumptuous landscape.
Nestled between mountains – Mont Ventoux to one side and the Luberon Mountains to the other – the Cave Sylla (the Apt wine-growers cooperative), located at the entrance to Apt, only fully reveals its gifts to those who step through the doors…
« Millévin » A festive celebration throughout the Côtes du Rhône to explore the primeur wines and other Cotes du Rhone vintages
Hear ye, hear ye, the wine growers are coming to Avignon on the third Thursday of November! Adorned in their finery, carrying their coloured banners, the numerous Rhône valley wine confraternities assemble in Millevin every year to celebrate their en primeur wines, Bacchus and wine, in general – in moderation, of course.
The vineyard and wine festival that is celebrated every year around mid-May is a rare occasion to go backstage of the winemaking domaines and to meet people who love their work and love talking about it. This year I went to Mormoiron, a small village overlooking the Ventoux, for a visit to the prestigious Château Pesquié.