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pining for provence.

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…


About mistralwine1982

Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to Colorado in 2005 in order to get closer to the mountains and rock climb. When it occurred to me that I would never make money with that hobby, I went to grad school. I received a masters in English and American Literature from New York University in May of 2009. I have since then opted not to pursue a PhD, for studying and writing about wine is far more fascinating (well, perhaps not moreso than Virginia Woolf, but still… for the long haul?). My favorite wines come from the old world, especially the Rhone, Burgundy, Rioja, Piedmont, and Tuscany. I am also smitten with roses, Italian hard-to-pronounce white varietals, and dessert wines from around the world. By day I run a wine shop. By nite, I sip and tell. It’s rough… but someone must do this.


4 thoughts on “pining for provence.

  1. i too love provence. this comment may be a duplicate but feel as though i must let you know. it just feels nice down there. i stayed at the chateau de mazan, cycled up mt ventoux and had dinner and fabulous wine at sylvie and franck’s house nestled amongst the vineyards. what an idyllic life they lead. i’d love to escape to provence.

    Posted by Jayne DuVall | 05/10/2010, 6:57 am
  2. oh and the weekend outdoor market in bedoin so charming.

    Posted by Jayne DuVall | 05/10/2010, 7:33 am
  3. Ashley – ‘Could not have happened at a better time’ – to read your notes on southern France; in that your old neighbors (us) are headed to Provence in August. Flying into Marseille to Avignon where we will spend the next 8 days working our way up river to Chalon sur Saone- then on to Paris.
    You have made our trip enjoyable already.

    Posted by Jim and Mary Nelson | 05/11/2010, 12:02 pm
    • I am so glad to hear you will be in Provence! You will fall in love. Ever been before? I am actually going back soon myself–so thrilled! Can’t wait to catch up on your travels. I should be home this summer or fall at the latest! I will swing by…

      Posted by ahausman | 05/15/2010, 9:01 pm

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