Our home for the past week has been the lovely Maison Persimmon, the Coleman’s holiday home and our stay being Sarah and Andy’s very generous wedding gift to us!
We are truly in French wine country here: as far as you can see in any direction a sea of vines sweeps up and over the rolling hills, interrupted only by crumbling castles which cling to islets of white limestone.
Each local village has it’s own wine cooperative, offering “degustations” or tastings, of their prized wares; we’ve done our fair share of swirling, sniffing and slurping – all in the name of research, of course!
The most informative of these was our visit to the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape (aka- The Pope’s new pad) and the Brotte winery and wine museum – really worth a visit if you are ever in the area. Here you can learn about the history of the village, winemaking, the impact of climate and geology (together the ‘terroir’) in wine production, and of course try a few wines too! We came away with their signature “wonky” bottle, complete with dusty-cellar effect.
In need of something to nibble with our plonk, we headed into Uzes market to stock up on local goodies. The Saturday market here seemed to take up the whole town, with traders selling everything from olives to ceramics spilling out of the market square and down into the maze of cobbled streets.
Laden with stuffed vine leaves, olives, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, a baguette and some very smelly cheeses we headed back for a picnic Provence-style!
We decided the best place to walk off our excesses was in the impressive Gardon valley, famous of course for its Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard. After a spot of paddling on the river we followed a path down through dense wood, looking out for wild boar as we went, until we came to the edge of the gorge. We reached the pont at just the right time to see its arches glowing golden in the evening light.
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring the area – thank you again Sarah and Andy!
Next update from somewhere closer to the Italian border!