Tuesday, 5 May 2009

My favourite vineyard photo

I'm painfully aware of the need for a few photos and images to add further interest and to punctuate some of the longer entries on the blog. This is something I will seek to rectify as I get into the groove and actually think to take my camera with me when I go out! Meanwhile, here is just about my favourite vineyard scene of them all - one of the smallest of a series of vineyards created by Eloi Durrbach at Domaine de Trévallon, outside the small town of Saint-Etienne-du-Grès, 25 km south of Avignon and 7 km west of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Trévallon is situated on the northern slopes of the Alpilles, a massif composed of limestone rock with sharp, jagged crests reminiscent of what the Provençal poet, Frédéric Mistral, described as a "Greek landscape". The vineyards are dotted about the hillside, surrounded by holm oaks, olive and almond trees and scrub - to the avid wine enthusiast, a quite magical landscape. And yes, the "soil" that you see is actually chunks of limestone, literally blasted out of the hillside. A harsh, yet ideal, environment for growing Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (for the red), plus Marsanne, Roussanne and a little Chardonnay (for the white) in this sun-baked corner of Provence. The wines are wonderful, by the way - not cheap, and they need time in bottle to show their true greatness, but no serious wine lover should be without a selection of Trévallon vintages in their cellar.

Leon Stolarski

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