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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 wine estate, 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 rugged sections of terrain and steep slopes)

 

 

 

 

The Bandol reds and rosés:
vineyards never far from the sea

 

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 thanks to a delightfull tasting 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 (rugged terrain)

 

 

 

Through the vineyards of Gigondas
around the Dentelles de Montmirail

 

Just a 40-minute drive from Avignon, the Dentelles de Montmirail are four jagged limestone ridges, some 4km long (about 2 miles) each. And they owe their name to the unique outline of their peaks, “dentelle” in French meaning lace. These needle-thin crests, made of dramatically steep cliffs and spikes, tower up to 300m (1,000 feet) over vineyards that cover hillsides and small valleys all around. The most famous of this vines have the Gigondas designation. During this walk, you really enjoy roaming through the terraces and hiking up to the top of one of these four ridges : you will walk on the closest among these Dentelles de Montmirail crests to the Gigondas village. And if you are a wine lover, you may be interested in making a stop in one of the châteaux nearby so typical of the Provence wine estates. The welcoming owners will host you for a tasting of their last harvest outcome.


Walking time
 : 3.5 hours
Rating : moderate (rugged terrain)