This time of year–the smells, sounds and sights of all things waking up and coming to life epitomizes and compels me to long for my favorite place on earth: southern France.
I have therefore gone a little loopy writing of this area recently, alas I have posted nothing but have store up several entries. I figure the best way is to break these up a bit–a modern-day Dickens serializing my blogs.
There may be no other place I love more than Provence.
I was fortunate to go last summer, and its effect on my senses has been etched in permanence. Those three days were, in short, the closest approximation to perfection I have ever yet felt.
What was it about Provence that made it so transcendent, dreamlike, really—like the edge of vision quite literally imbued with a hushed blur. Framed as I was by this lucid-drenched sight, I knew it was real. The smell of lavender, the endless fields of sunflowers and vineyards, the perfectly packaged soaps, and freshly assembled dried teas to accompany the morning omelets made from fresh eggs and herbs from the garden… There was not a dull moment in the life of my eyes, ears, nose and intellect. It was a place that inspired invigoration, thought and reflection.
The south of France, in general, holds this allure for me. There is a simplicity that rings—a simplicity that still somehow carries the weight of history and introspection in its lightness of character. Its ambience signals family, hard work and meaningful moments.
In short: Provence and its surrounding provinces have priorities.
Unlike the more rigidly defined regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne, the south of France is much more liberal and adventurous with its grapes and vinification. There are some rules, yes, depending on the specific appellation, but the varietals used are countless… and the styles and interpretation of each even moreso.
So stay tuned if you care to learn a bit more about this fanciful wine region…