Thursday, September 30, 2010

The wonders of Autumn

September is one of the nicest months to live in and visit the Luberon. The evenings become cooler but the days are wonderful with temperatures in the mid 20's and clear skies are the norm. Today the last day of the month has been beautiful.

Another reason to enjoy September are the fresh figs growing in our garden!

And pomegranates, also growing in our garden.

It is also wild mushroom season, these girolles are so tasty in a risotto

And the perfect time to take a balloon flight over the Luberon with the early morning mist.

Also a sure sign of the good weather - the cats lazing in the sun!

Matisse our tabby is now 12

Ginger, elle est Francaise!

And Matisse's brother, Splodge always up to something!

best of all the pool is still warm at 24 degrees!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bumper Olive harvest

The early signs are that this year will see a bumper Olive harvest. All our trees are laden with healthy plump olives so we expect to exceed last years harvest of 245 Kilos.
We will be picking  mid /late November.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

La Vendange Encore.....

September is all about sunshine and grapes in Provence!
They are reaching their full ripeness, sweetness and are ready for picking.......

And each year I join many other friends and volunteers to pick for a day at our friends Sally & Francois vineyard 'Domaine Faverot' in Maubec where they produce some 25000 bottles of fine wine each year.

Picking Syrah & Carignan grapes we need to pick early before the sun warms the picked grapes and starts the fermentation process.

I persuaded/arranged for our gite guests Heather & Ben from Melbourne to pick and enjoy the French picking experience!

Always happy! grapes = wine!

From here the mechanics take over in the form of a crushing machine.

The salary for a days labour is lunch in the South facing courtyard -it's tough but someone has to do it!

The end result, Faverot wines, the white next year will be stunning, the Rose reliably good , and the reds mellow and smooth.

Ready to ship to an outlet near you!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn Sunshine

Whilst we have had some much needed rain over the last couple of weeks the underlying weather continues to provide warm sunny days with cooler nights. Temperatures in the day at 25 degrees are more comfortable than the intensive  heat of July & August, perfect for exploring the villages, markets and walking.

We decided to take a quick tour of some of the local villages today to take advantage of the weather

L'Isle Sur La Sorgue is the Venice of Provence, famous for its Antique shops and markets, notably on Sunday's and bank holidays.

The river Sorgue runs through the town, you can take a Kayak from Fontaine de Vaucluse

The bank Caisse d'Epargne has probably some of the finest buildings in France - don't mention bank charges!
This one was mentioned in Peter Mayle's novel Hotel Pastis

Gordes is one of 'Les plus beaux villages' in France - one of the prettiest - we still prefer it from the viewing platform just outside.

Menerbes , still retains a certain 'Je ne sais quoi' it has some beautiful buildings and wonderful views...

From Menerbes overlooking the valley with Mont Ventoux in the distance

And then to Roussillon, one of our guests favourite villages famous for it's Ocre 

And of course you come to Provence for Rose - its simply the best.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Lazy on a Sunday morning.............

Yesterday was one of our busiest changeover days with guests leaving Le Chene, Les Cypres , Les Oliviers & Les Cerisiers. By 10 am everyone had gone and by 5 pm the new guests had arrived and were all settling in.
And so Sundays are a day we really relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of our beautiful village.

It is so nice nice to walk up our drive to the village, which is only 800 metres away.
Stopping on route to take in the view and hazy autumnal sunshine.

The leaves are dry and crispy, a clear sign of autumn approaching.

Next stop is the Boulangerie for 'our daily bread'! We are lucky to have one of the best Boulangeries in the area in our village.

Continuing our walk up to the Moulin where there are fabulous views towards the West.

Continuing up to the barrage, across and to the ramparts, where there are the remains of the old houses, shops and work shops dating to the 13th century.

from here there are wonderful views over the village and valley towards the Luberon Hills.

The remains of the outer walls to the former houses.

At the top the Chapelle Castrale, which dates to between 1672 and 1688.  It was tastefully restored in 2000.

The perfect place for man to reflect with his baguette!

Enjoy Your Sunday.