<![CDATA[Lost in provence - Blog]]>Sat, 09 Jan 2016 20:28:16 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[Château La Nerthe with Christian Voeux]]>Tue, 03 Nov 2015 15:09:19 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/chateau-la-nerthe-with-christian-voeux
Episode 5 of “Lost in Provence” is a wonderful journey into the world of winemaking.  In this episode, we head to Château La Nerthe to meet up with master winemaker Christian Voeux. Christian shares his more than 40 years of wine-making experience with us as he takes us along for what will be the final day of his last grape harvest (vendange). 

This year marks Christian's retirement as a professional wine maker, and we were honored to join him as he reflects on a long and successful career. With ideal harvest conditions in the vineyard and the beautiful backdrop of the Château and its 500 year-old cellars,  Château La Nerthe is not exactly off the grid. For us, however, the time spent in this ideal spot was a very special moment to be “Lost.”
We hadn’t planned for the La Nerthe episode to be this personal.  In true “Lost in Provence” style, we walked into the project with a pretty open roadmap.  Exceptional wine has been made at Château La Nerthe for over nine centuries, and over the last decade their wine has gained worldwide recognition.  The domaine is in a magical location west of Mont Ventoux in the Rhone River Valley.  The beautiful Château, cellars, and vineyards are situated in the heart of the winemaking Appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  This region is known for its soil--soil that has historically produced some of the best wines in the world.  What we didn’t know at the time is that our wandering into La Nerthe would perfectly correspond with Christian’s upcoming retirement.
The situation presented a unique opportunity to be able to document and capture a landmark moment in an individual’s life and career.  A winemaker is at the same time a craftsman and artist.  His brushes and paints are the soil, the wind, the rain, the sun and, of course, the vines.  His canvases are the grapes and the barrels; and his works of art are the wines (the vintages) he produces.  A winemaker is also historian of sorts.  He is able to capture a moment in time--a confluence of climatic conditions and human agriculture--endow it with his own personal touch, and preserve it in a bottle. This "time capsule" can then be opened in 20, 30, or 50 years, and POP, there it is: the color, the smell, the taste--a sensual memory of the time.
The stars aligned in 2015, and we were lucky enough to be there to capture the vendange of what may turn out to be the best vintage that Christian Voeux has ever produced.  It is a great bookend to a wonderful career, and a profound moment in the history of a storied Château. 

As always, it is a pleasure to be “Lost” in Provence.

To watch Episode 5 go the the EPISODES PAGE or VIEW ON VIMEO
<![CDATA[Coming Soon: The Grape Harvest at Château la Nerthe]]>Sat, 19 Sep 2015 18:21:02 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/coming-soon-the-grape-harvest-at-chateau-la-nerthe
Lost in Provence has been hard at work preparing for the 2015 vendange (the grape harvest). Our next episode will feature the wine harvest at Château la Nerthe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.  Join us as we accompany La Nerthe's Directeur, Christian Veoux, for his final harvest before he retires after 40 years of winemaking.
<![CDATA[Lavender Harvest]]>Sat, 22 Aug 2015 21:26:07 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/lavender-harvest
Perhaps nothing says Provence more than vast fields of fragrant purple lavender. But like everything in this land of rich agriculture, lavender is more than just a backdrop for beautiful photos. Lost in Provence set out to learn more about lavender's history, how it is grown, processed and ultimately used around the world. 

And we did it in typical "Lost" style--we climbed in the car, drove out to where the lavender is grown and literally took side roads to see what we could discover. True to our philosophy, that you find the most interesting things when you are lost, we ran across a farmer who shared his knowledge of the various types of lavender, how and when they are harvested, and what the land was used for before lavender.  We also discovered a distillery that uses age-old historic methods for extracting the lavender's essential oils--only one of two such distilleries in the region.

And for the pièce de résistance, we traveled to the village of Sault for a wonderful celebration of flower, land and culture at the annual Fête de la Lavande.

We think you will find it all fascinating, and recommend you spray a little lavender oil in the room before watching the next episode of Lost in Provence: "Lavender Harvest."

Bill & Ken
<![CDATA[The Abbaye Saint-André]]>Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:07:20 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/the-abbaye-saint-andre
Provence is filled with fascinating historical sites, some dating back to the Roman era. The most famous are well traveled by tourists, but there are also many just waiting to be discovered by the curious traveler willing to take a small detour. Bill and I found one such place in Villeneuve les Avignon, just across the Rhone river from the Pope's Palace in Avignon, at the Abbaye of Saint-André.

The Abbey is both a "Monument Historique" and "Jardin Remarquable" (a classification given to only the most beautiful gardens in France), and its gardens and abbatial palace are open to the public for self-guided and private tours.

Lost in Provence was fortunate to be given a private "walk-through-history" with the owners, the Viennet family. We discovered the ancient site of 6th century saint, strolled through the Tuscan gardens, explored the ruins of ancient Benedictine churches, and enjoyed the family's collection of 1920's designer dresses. 

We think you will enjoy the beauty and history of this magical slice of France.

Ken & Bill
<![CDATA[A French Pizza?]]>Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:44:16 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/a-french-pizza
Pizzas are a very personal thing--Italian, New York, thin crust, deep dish--everyone has an opinion about who makes the "best" pizza.

We had one taste of the pizza at Favolsa Pizza in the village of Bedoin and we knew that chef Rudy Salomon was creating something special. Rudy is both old-school (everything made fresh and from scratch) and at the same time a complete original. His pizzas are unlike anything you've had before. 

By working with local producers and seasonal foods from the south of France, Rudy's wood-fired pizzas capture the flavors of the Provence countryside.  We speny the day shopping in the Bédoin market for ingredients to make two fabulous pizzas, Bill even tried his hand at some pizza making!

We hope you enjoy learning about pizza, on the latest episode of "Lost in Provence!"

Bill & Ken
<![CDATA[Organic Winemaking 101]]>Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:26:15 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/organic-winemaking-101
We recently spend the day with winemaker Even Bakke ("Even" pronounced like Evan) at his vineyard Clos de Trias in Le Barroux. A day with Even is like a day in winemaking school. When we first saw the Clos de Trias vines we knew he was up to something different; while most vineyards in Provence are plowed and devoid of any life besides the vines, the Clos de Trias vines are teaming with life. Flowers, weeds, bees thrive in between the rows of ancient vines. Even calls it a healthy ecosystem that encourages nutrient rich soil, which creates healthy vines that make great grapes.

Even learned the craft of winemaking in California, both at UC Davis and as a winemaker for private estates in Sonoma, but he now says that the way he makes wine now is the antithesis of the way winemaking is taught and practiced in California. Even's goal is to leave as little of his own fingerprint on the wine as possible, so that the final product is a representation of the terroir, rather than the result of a technique. We think that makes his wine unique, and delicious.

We hope you enjoy learning about organic winemaking with "Lost in Provence."

Ken & Bill
<![CDATA[Get Lost With Us]]>Sat, 04 Jul 2015 06:52:24 GMThttp://www.lostinprovence.com/blog/get-lost-with-us
Welcome to the very first blog post of Lost in Provence. Why "Lost?" Well, we think it reflects our philosophy about travel and adventure. We prefer taking backroads and wandering through small villages to being herded around by organized tours through crowded tourist towns. We like to meet quirky artists, eat at family-run cafes, and buy food from local farmers. When we travel we stay in one area for weeks rather than hop from one capitol to the next.

Our premiere episode is an interview with winemaker Even Bakke.  Even (pronounced Evan) is a rebel who bucks the trends of modern winemaking, and instead has gone back to traditional methods of organic farming. Even learned his craft at Davis University and in the elite vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valley, but in Even's words his current methods are the "antithesis" of the way winemaking is taught. We think you will find him fascinating.

We hope our videos reflect this passion and commitment to delve deeper. A typical Lost in Provence episode runs about 30 minutes, and we hope you will find it all fascinating and entertaining. We believe digging beneath the surface is ultimately the most satisfying way to travel. By venturing to places other people ignore we find the most interesting people and places you've never heard of. 

We hope you enjoy getting lost with us.

Bill & Ken