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

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Summer 2022, issue No. 30

Discover captivating Corsica, the island of beauty and glitzy, cinematic Cannes. Explore Antibes, less well known than it's neighbours Nice and Cannes, it's incredibly pretty and authentic, and the Camargue in the south of France where wild white horses and pink flamingoes roam. Come with us to arty Arles, historic Agincourt and Aisne in Picardy - the ancient cradle of France. Meet artisan gin makers in Cognac, discover the prune route of France, fabulous recipes, guides, gorgeous photos, the best tours, what's new in France and delicious recipes - and more...

that less is more when

that less is more when it comes to chemicals – though this makes heaps more work. It’s also very common for biodynamic producers to keep livestock on or around their vineyards. I have seen carthorses, sheep, goats and even a herd of Llamas at Domaine Creve Coeur! It’s part of the artisanal way of production, of sustaining the land, creating a balance between nature and the farm. And of course, keeping down the weeds on the land! several scientific studies have shown it can be effective, even if the underlying reasons are not yet understood. Indeed, those who are new to biodynamic farming might think it’s a world populated strictly with neohippies. Absolutely not so, some of the biggest wine names in France - Leroy in Burgundy, ZindHumbrecht in Alsace and Chapoutier in the Rhone are converts and these are very serious businesses. In the UK both Tesco and Marks and Spencer’s wine buyers have gone on record to say they prefer to organise trade tastings on biodynamic calendar days best suited to tasting wine. When I’m researching the finest vineyards in the Rhone, trying wines and generally discovering everything about Rhone wines, it’s become abundantly clear that when it comes to biodynamic wines, the producers have one thing in common - a passionate obsession with tending their vines. They use plant base infusions and remedies and home-made fertiliser - that’s where that buried cow dung comes in – all practices which take a lot of time and effort. Their whole ethos is The biodynamic calendar is based on the belief that not only moon cycles but astrological cycles have varying influences on plant life and farming. Every day in the biodynamic calendar is categorized as either a flower/leaf/root/fruit day according to the position of the moon/planets. Each category determines an ideal focus in the vineyard/ winery. For example, root days are ideal for pruning. Flower days are better for working in the winery. Biodynamic adherents follow the calendar suggestions but most are pragmatic - weather considerations usually trump the calendar suggestions! And this attention to detail, to getting closer to the growing process, inevitably shows through in wine quality. So, it doesn’t matter whether you sign on for the belief system, the wines just have a TLC advantage over regular wines. 62 | The Good Life France

Want to try biodynamic French wines? You can spot bottles of biodynamic wines in France by the orange and green ‘flag’ logo of Demeter International or Biodyvin who certify the wines. You may spot certification as Agriculture Biologique or Ecocert – but this simply means organic. Even better – visit a biodynamic wine maker and see behind the scenes. Many vineyards open their doors to visitors and share their biodynamic philosophy and working ways. Domaine Montirius in Gigondas-Vacqueyras in Provence, for instance, hold workshops which include a tasting of their entire range of wines, cellar visit and an introduction to their approach to wine production. And like most of the biodynamic wine producers I meet, they never use their beliefs as a marketing tool, on the contrary, they tend to be self-effacing about the practice, preferring to talk about the health of their vines and what you can taste in your glass. And that is the best way to judge the wines and make up your own mind… Join Philip on a Rhone Wine tour for an exceptional wine experience in Provence: RhoneWineHolidays.com Exceptional arts and crafts made in Provence L'AUGUSTE Provence create a unique artisanal collection of bags and accessories from exclusive watercolors to bring a little Provencal style into your life wherever you are. laugusteprovence.com The Good Life France | 63