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Wine and cuisine

Visiting Provence wineries and savouring meals in fine restaurants on a rambling day trip

  

Vines and wines in the Luberon :
the lively terroir of Caseneuve

Between the southeast slopes of Mont Ventoux and the north face of the Grand Luberon, come and stroll through the vine-covered hillsides around the perched village of Caseneuve to discover this plant, which is both so familiar and so unknown : vine. After being told by your tour guide about its origin, its cultivation methods and processes of making, you will have the opportunity to taste the wine while savouring a delicious meal at L’Authentic, a friendly restaurant, labelled ‘Bistrot de Pays’. And in the afternoon, you will meet François, a passionate winegrower, near his vineyards, the Domaine Alloïs, and will enjoy tasting his wines and grape juice.

Walking time : 3 hours (overall time : 6-7 hours)
Rating : easy

The wines of Cassis : a terroir
modeled by limestone and the sea 

The vineyards that compose the appellation of Cassis grow on a reduced area. Most of them stretch over the hillsides from the foot of the high limestone cliffs all around, down to the plain and further down to the sea. This hikes leads you to the top of the two crown-shaped hills whose rocky crests overlook the little seaport and its surroundings : Couronne de Charlemagne and Baou de la Saoupe. You will walk through pine groves that lay between the cliffs and the vineyards. During your stop at Domaine du Bagnol, a small family winery, you will have the chance to taste whites and rosés. And for your lunch at La Villa Madie, you will surely enjoy some delicious sea food accompanied by a white wine, fat and long in the mouth.

Walking time : 3 hours (overall time : 6-7 hours)
Rating : moderate (some stoney areas and steep slopes)

The Bandol reds and rosés:
the reasons for their unique flavours

On the coast between Marseille and Toulon, Bandol, an old fishing port behind which vines cling to the rugged hillsides, is also a wine appellation, a special one among all those existing in Provence wineries. If it is strongly associated with rosés, Bandol produces excellent reds and whites, as well. And you will be given the chance to check it by yourself by tasting them at Domaines Bunan during the visit of the cellar. Before that, you will have relished a succulent Mediterranean lunch at the gastronomic restaurant of L’Hostellerie Bérard in the charming village of La Cadière d’Azur. On the morning menu, a more physical one, you will have enjoyed a very pleasant coastal walk with scenic views and the beautiful creek of Port d’Alon, as a highlight.   

Walking time : 3 hours (overall time : 6-7 hours)
Rating : moderate (stoney areas)

Through the vineyards of Gigondas 
around the Dentelles de Montmirail

Just a 40 minute drive from Avignon, the Dentelles de Montmirail are three jagged limestone ranges that owe their name to the unique outline of their peaks, as “dentelle” means lace. Steep but not very high nor very long, these needle-thin ridges and spikes overlook vineyards that cover hillsides and small valleys all around, especially the ones of the famous Gigondas designation. During this walk you will enjoy roaming through the terraces and hiking up to the top of one of these Dentelles de Montmirail. And if you are a wine lover, you may be interested in making a stop in one of the Chateaux nearby so typical of the Provence wineries to taste the outcome of their last harvest.

Walking time
 : 3.5 hours 
Rating : moderate (stony ground)