I just came back from nine days in Provence. I have been going for almost twenty years now, and nine days is never enough. I don't know the right amount of time, but I am always sad when I have to leave.
I'm just beginning to feel like I belong, going to the daily markets in the different picturesque villages that were built during the Crusades.I love picking up fresh vegetables and roasted chicken for lunch or dinner, olive and French bread, fresh goat cheese, four kinds of salami, and anything else that you can think of. If you miss a market one day, there is always a market tomorrow in some near-by village.
What I love about market day especially on Saturday, is how all the generations of a family, grandparents, mother, father, and the children, come shopping together, and when they are finished, they stop at an outside cafe' ,over-looking the market, for an espresso, coffee, or a glass of rose wine'. They don't rush, but enjoy the day and each other. There is a lot to be said for this way of life.
The Southern part of France, Provence, is one of the areas of the world where people live the longest. I imagine the reason is the Mediterranean diet, the sunshine, the pace of life, and of course, the rose' wine. Most wine lovers think Provence rose' is sweet, but it is just the opposite, it is dry and delicious. If you want to try a great rose' wine, try picking up Whispering Angel, This wine is sold on the Martha's Vineyard.
I spent my holiday at a lovely Mas in the middle of the vineyards in Lorgues, France. Chateau Roubine which is owned by my friend Valerie Rouselle consists of over one hundred and severty eight acres of vines with eight different varieties of grapes. Her land during the 14th century was once owned by the Knights Templar. They became so powerful that the Pope had them jailed, and eventually killed. I guess the lesson is never get more powerful than the Pope!
If you have been to Provence please tell me about your experiences.