Monday, August 1, 2011

Last Days in Provence: The Wine Country of Gigondas

Wine Country, Gigondas

We are leaving for the Marseille airport in less than an hour.  Now the wine country of Gigondas is a fond memory. The winds of the Mistral whooshed through the plane trees in the afternoon and evening.  In the morning it was calm at first.  Then the Mistral gently rustled leaves, stopped for a breath, and blasted through trees and hillsides.

Lunch in Gigondas, 2011
Yesterday morning we hiked along a marked path that goes from the jagged Dentelles de Montmirail to Gigondas, a wine Mecca of the Côte de Rhone.  The breathtaking village is full of "caves pour degustation" (cellars wine tasting) and restaurants where we ate a lunch.

We spent our last three nights of vacation in the countryside for rest and relaxation before the trip home.  The first night we went to a jazz piano concert in an old quarry in Rognes, a quiet little village.  Tigran Hamasyan played avant-garde piano music that was stirring especially when listened to in the open air of a quarry surrounded by cliffs and with outstanding acoustics.  We celebrated my birthday with dinner at the restaurant Ma Cuisine in Rogne with a grand finale of Crepes Suzette “pour les dessert.”

We stayed two nights at Les Florets, Hotel Charme with a restaurant in a garden nestled into the hillside with their own vineyards.  Thankfully Monsieur Bernard and staff were jovial and caring.  The food was exceptional and thankfully the portion sizes modest.

Three days in the wine country could not have been more peaceful or bucolic.  This is the kind of vacation we’re already envisioning for next year.  This summer we have had a grand tour of the many places we had dreamed of visiting.  Next year will be a vacation for rest and relaxation in the countryside for a mental health break.

This has been a summer packed with eight concerts, trips from Aix to the cities of Paris, Krakow, and Prague and the countryside of Provence.  We are grateful for all of the adventures, and are now ready to go home for a rest and to get back to our routines.  All of the good food and wine has added up, and I’m a little worried about what the scale will show when we get home.  My dress jacket feels a little tight, not a good sign.  I’ll give you a full report when we get home.

Yours in joy and health!


Dentelles Montmirail, 2011 

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