A driveway lined with olive trees, vineyards for as far as the eye can see, a table with wine glasses and chairs set under an old olive tree-this is what French Provencal dreams are made of. This is a tiny tale of an enchanting day.
Itching to get out of the city, we decided to drive up into the mountain countryside to do some wine tasting. We quickly realized that Sunday was a perfect day for driving on beautiful country roads, but not so much so for wine tasting. All of the vineyards and wine tasting rooms were closed. All except this illusive and mysterious vineyard we came upon by pure happenstance.
We drove about 8 kilometers deeper into the countryside and off the main road to find a large winery sign. Ouvert…open. We could hardly believe our good fortune. With no further ado, we were driving down an olive lined driveway that led to a terra cotta tile roofed cottage. No other cars nor people were around. Were we in the right place? It felt as though we had walked into a Cezanne or Renoir painting.
Just as we were contemplating whether we were at someone’s private home by mistake, a lady came out of the cottage to greet us. She kindly invited us into the “tasting room” where we sat on two cushioned wicker chairs that sat in front of a white quilted table with the wines. This intimate room with its white painted stone walls, dark wood beams and white washed traditional French country furniture was entirely an incredible sensory overload for me. My dream room!
Our hostess, Fanny, proceeded to pour our wines. We started with the light and fruity whites that were so wonderfully dry. We then moved on to the crisp and fragrant roses for which this region of France is best known. Absolutely divine! Were these the best wines I ever tasted or was I so smitten by the large pot of lavender sitting in the open window with the silver grey tab top linen drapes that looked out over the vineyard that it didn’t matter how they tasted??
By the time the red wines appeared, we were fully immersed into a wonderful conversation mixed with French and English. The dry reds had a delightful smoky and earthy aroma, but tasted like currants. Incredible. Breadsticks and her private bottled olive oil were next up for tasting.
As if this place weren’t magical enough, we soon found out that Fanny had visited Sedona, Arizona this past summer and actually stayed at the same resort (a rather hidden one, at that!) where we had our wedding reception. She told us of her love for our beautiful state of Arizona and how she would like to return someday. I spoke of my love for her home here in the Provence countryside and we joked about doing a “house swap” someday.
She told us about the history of Domaine de Meaulx and how the chateau (yes, a chateau!) has been in the family for two generations and was built in the 17th century. It happens to be set way back into the vineyard and is private, so we weren’t able to visit it.
Being the romantic that I am, I immediately envisioned myself on this house swap. I would wake up in the chateau in the morning and smile. I would then stroll through the olive groves and grape vineyards, pour myself some wine and sit on the iron day bed with the white cushions that she placed out front. If needed, I would happily cut the French lavender and bundle them for sachets and tie ribbons around the tops of the wine and olive oil bottles…
My husband’s voice jolts me back to reality and reminds me that our journey for the day must continue. We say merci and abientot (until we meet again) to this beautiful serendipitous afternoon and to a woman who showed us a window into her life. I feel that at this moment I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
This post is part of the ”Oh the Places I’ve Been” on The Tablescaper- sharing in the joys of many fabulous journeys.