An autumn day out – wine tasting


The thing about wine tasting is that it’s difficult to do it all day long.  So this day assumes your palate is more attuned to wine tasting in the afternoon than at 10 o'clock in the morning.

8 o’clock – off to the boulangerie again, treat everyone to pain au raisins as well as a breakfast michette.  See what local vegetables Madame Aicard or Madame Tosello can sell you for lunch.

Half past 8 – leisurely breakfast, apricot jam, Ampus honey, orange juice, coffee and the newspaper - Var Matin is the local rag.

10 o’clock – stroll up to the village to buy post cards and stamps, visit the lavoir and trace the Chemin d’Eau.

Half past 12 – lunch on the terrace - charcuterie and those vegetables you bought this morning.

Half past 1 – the moment you’ve been waiting for, to the Domaine St Jean at Villecroze.  Allow yourself to be guided by their helpful staff through their rosés and reds, perhaps buy a bottle of L’Exceptionnel, alongside a mixed half case of La Chapelle St Jean and a rosé.

3 o’clock – Arrive at la Domaine d’Astros just north of Vidauban.  This chateau was used for the film of Marcel Pagnol’s semi-autobiographical novel, Le Chateau de ma Mère, and there are production posters hanging up in the cellar shop.  A good range of very palatable, reasonably priced reds and rosés, and even a sparkling wine. Taste all you can and then decide – but remember there is another vineyard to come.

4 o’clock – Arrive at Domaine St Marc des Omèdes, just outside Lorgues.  This is the smallest British owned vineyard in the Var, owned by our friend and member of l’Oasis fellowship, Lindsay Phillips.  He produces wines from €36 to €90 a case which is a steal. Best to ring him in advance to say you’d like to pop in.

Then back to Les Cantalus, maybe stopping in Tourtour to take in the panoramic view, visit the chapel and stroll through its quiet squares and alleys.  As evening comes, light a log fire and then it's time for dinner washed down with some of the vintage you have acquired today.


The view from the sky