Saturday, March 10, 2012

Provencal charm at Valdition


 

Back in Provence the Mistral is blowing! My oh my, there were days this past week when I was pushed around like a rag doll. But as I often note, this broom sweeps the sky clean and lets the blue shine through, so I will not complain, even if the winds can leave me feeling as if my bones were being used to play the xylophone.


In such weather, it helps to have fun things to do, of course. Remi and I put Ben in the back of the Range Rover and headed out on a mission. I had always heard that the Domaine de Valdition was one of the loveliest wine estates to visit in the Alpilles and yes, the reputation is well-deserved. Through the gates and down, down, down the long allée of pines...

 

...there is a dollhouse of a tasting room and boutique that is simply so charming I could have moved right in.


We had come to pick up some wine for a special dinner. Our dear friends Sonny and Michael had first introduced us to the winery's award-winning rosé or "pink" as Michael likes to call it, last summer. But it certainly is not yet the moment for rosé! Brrr!! No, we chose the excellent Vallon des Anges, a Coteaux d'Aix that is 80% Syrah, just perfect for the lamb we would be serving it with. 



There was so much, too much else to tempt. Little chickens, fruity vinegar, honey with black truffle! 





The rest of the domaine is worth a look around. All of the elements that make so many of us sigh over Provence are here. The main mas with its ancient tiles and stone wrapped in a cream lime-wash...


...little corners to while away a sunny afternoon...


...burbling fountains (those with a magnifying glass might spy a sad-faced Ben looking out of the rear view window in the background)...


...crawling vines and perfectly tended topiary...


...and all in a secluded corner of the Alpilles that just becomes more beautiful to me with each and every moment that I pass there. 

It comes as no surprise to learn that the estate was a gift from King François the First to his daughter and that the estate remained in the same family for four centuries. There is something so timeless and beyond time about this special place. How wonderful to see that the 280 hectares are still so lovingly treasured.



I still have more to share on my trip to Michigan but thought that this was just right for today.
Bon-weekend!

29 comments:

  1. Ooh the Mistral gets inside your bones, glad to see it's not stopping you from doing lovely things and what could be better than choosing wine at such a beautiful place.
    X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more Dash! I am missing your posting more often. You are too talented to keep it under wraps!

      Delete
  2. i hope the lamb was successful! xv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Insanity! Fondant sur la langue! Thanks for your suggestion too. :)

      Delete
  3. It felt like the Mistral winds were blowing here all week with 40-60 mph wind gushes. Even Dylan dog was bracing himself against some of the stronger winds but thankfully spring is just around the corner. What a beautiful little place to while away the hours.

    Enjoy your weekend!
    XX
    Debra~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that neither of us can complain Debra, since we both have had mild winters but oh my! I bet you have little plants starting to peek up?
      Bisous to you and a scratchy to Mr. D please!

      Delete
  4. Thanks for sharing your visit to the Domaine. I am going to print it out and keep it with my notes for when we return soon to Provence. From how the location is described, maybe we can combine it with lunch at Chez Bru or Sous les Micocouliers. I enjoy good roses as an apero anytime of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you have planned perfectly! Chez Bru's new spot in the country (I haven't been) is just up the road from Valdition but I do love Sous les Micocouliers. It is one of my favorites in the region for a nice, slow lunch in the shade of the trees--and yes with a glass of rosé... :)

      Delete
  5. "...even if the winds can leave me feeling as if my bones were being used to play the xylophone." Oooh I love this image! And I will think of it every time the March wind chills me through and through.

    We don't take enough "field trips" here in my house. I'm going to get off the stick and start instigating them, thanks to your fine example.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hooray! Nothing better than a little exploring Judith--who knows what you might find!

      Delete
  6. Hello Heather:
    Oh yes, we could just see ourselves doing a trolley dash around the shop. So many goodies to tempt one and tickle the palate!
    The whole area looks so beautifully unspoilt and charming. This is certainly a corner of Provence that would entice us too, Mistral or no Mistral.....!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only imagine the sort of adventures we would have if I ever convinced you to visit my way. Wine tour, specialty food tour, olive oil tasting...ah yes, that and a few old stones. :à

      Delete
  7. Thanks God for your Range Rover and cold winds that drive you to discover and share!!! Whooo! Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome Wyn! And to give you an idea how strong the winds were, they were pushing the Range Rover around and it weighs more than two tons!

      Delete
  8. What a lovely place. Will get there some day for a visit. And a bottle of their 'pink'! The lamb and syrah sound exquisite. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lamb comes from the region so if you are a 'locavore', they haven't had to travel far!

      Delete
  9. Oh dear! You made my day! I am drooling here over these gorgeous images!! I am dreaming... and dreaming.... about Provence!!
    Have a wonderful Sunday Heather!! Hugs, Greet

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A little sun for you dear Greet! Wishing you a lovely Sunday as well. :)

      Delete
  10. Glad you are back home in France. Your drive and the winery is just beautiful. Your friends are fortunate to have hosts who put so much effort into their guest's dinner.
    Helen xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful pictures....Welcome back...Janey

    ReplyDelete
  12. So charming!! My kind of outing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks so much ladies--your thoughts are always appreciated! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Heather


    This is unrelated to you post. I noticed you attended Yale. A friend sent me this speech by Meryl Street about Hillary Clinton (both Yale grads) and felt you might find it of interest


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECNQDqMoAjw&sns=fb

    Helenxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Helen! That was absolutely amazing! It made my day!

      Delete
    2. Hi Heather

      So glad you enjoyed it, I did too.Meryl Streep speaks so beautifully.

      Delete
  15. i'm still dreaming of my farm house in Provence and this is exactly what i'll be doing...winery hopping, tending to my garden, taking photos on my gigantic harvest table... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me Jen, it is also doing the laundry, paying the bills, going to the post office. But it is good to dream! ;)

      Delete
  16. How perfectly dreamy. Wish I were there right now....

    ~ Clare x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wonderful post, beautifully written. I love your descriptions of the world around you.
    Bisous

    ReplyDelete

Your responses are what makes this blog so special to me. I love hearing from you. Thank you for visiting!

* Comments left on posts two days after publication or more will be published after moderation. So not to worry, they will arrive and again, I appreciate them all so very much...Merci! *

If you prefer, feel free to email me directly at robinsonheather (at) yahoo.com...