The Good Life France Magazine

The Good Life France Magazine brings you the best of France - inspirational and exclusive features, fabulous photos, mouth-watering recipes, tips, guides, ideas and much more...

Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France

2 weeks ago

Autumn 2023

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Brimming with fabulous features and stunning photos, inspiring destination guides, scrumptious recipes, history, culture and much, much more: Discover Provence, Ariege, Brittany, Normandy, Burgundy and Bordeaux, explore southern and northern France, secret places and exquisite castles. Bringing France to you - wherever you are.

The Vendange in Vaucluse

The Vendange in Vaucluse © Valerie Gillet, Vaucluse Tourism Witness the timeless tradition of the vendage – the grape harvest, in Gigondas in the heart of Provence. It’s a great way to exercise the body and free the mind says Jeremy Flint… The countryside around the beautiful Vaucluse department of Provence is home to sweeping vineyards which carpet the landscape and fertile territories encircling historic villages. Within the scenic vistas of this picturesque corner of South-eastern France lies the wine growing commune of Gigondas, nestled between the magnificent panoramas of Vacqueyras and Séguret, one of the most beautiful villages of France. Here, in the southern Rhone Valley, vineyards flow from the shores of the river to the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail, a small mountain range (up to 2000 feet high) offering spectacular hikes for nature lovers. Gigondas has been the home of winemaking for centuries. It’s said that Roman soldiers planted the vines and created wine estates. As far back as 1591, records reveal that wine commerce flourished in the area. Gigondas wines are renowned worldwide and they even rival the more famous Chateauneufdu-Pape wines. And like Châteauneuf, Gigondas wines are created mainly from the grenache grape, supplemented by a variety of others, but the grapes are grown at a higher elevation than Châteauneuf’s and on different soils. 99% of the wines grown in Gigondas are red. In 2021, the village celebrated its 50th anniversary as the first Côtes du Rhône village to be awarded Cru status appellation. Autumn is the perfect time to visit the vineyards, especially during harvest time, known as the vendange. Driving through this spectacular part of Provence on my way to explore the Montmirail mountains and passing through Gigondas, I stopped to follow the sound of chatter and laughter from a vineyard and came across bobbing heads, flashes of purple and a tractor with a large trailer attached to the back. Grapes plucked by hand were being filled by the bucket load. This was the annual grape harvest, a timeless tradition. In fact, it was the last day of the harvest at the vineyards that are part of the unique, historic estate of Saint Cosme, the oldest in the region, held by the same family since 1490. 15 © Jeremy Flint 42 | The Good Life France The Good Life France | 43