You haven’t seen a panorama until you’ve seen the one at the top of Mt Ventoux. Well above tree-line, you can see its brown peak from all around the region. The mountain features heavily in the Tour de France cycling race each summer because of its harsh steep climb. We were disappointed to learn that the mountain had been excluded from the route this year but it was nonetheless still packed with tourists.
In the afternoon we visited the Bleu Distillery, Museum of the Olive Tree, and Botanical Gardens in Nyons (the “s” is pronounced although I miss-pronounced it in the video). The highlight for me on this day (aside from visiting Mt Ventoux) was visiting the vineyard of Domaine Viret. Here they use all kinds of alternative methods of organic farming and winemaking. For example, instead of pesticides, herbacides, and fertilizer, they spray their plans with essential oils (custom tailored to each different type of grape). The building was constructed from blocks in the style of the Egyptian pyramids and on the inside it has a vaulted cathedral ceiling. The central feature of the interior is a giant quartz crystal which is there to create the best possible energy for the fermenting grapes. Finally (wait for it if I haven’t lost you already) the farmers place rocks in specific formations in the fields based on astrological star signs. My university French wasn’t up for the challenge of understanding why they do this when they explained as I think I my mind was still processing the use of essential oils, crystals, and pyramids.
Here’s an excerpt from their website describing “cosmoculture”:
According to the ancient Mayan and Inca civilizations, cosmoculture is based on exchanges between cosmic and telluric energies. On the ground, beacons of cosmic energy situated at precise points are used to support the close relationship that exists between the sky and the earth, and to recreate an environment where the vine can defend itself naturally.
The wine itself is pretty interesting, like nothing I’ve ever tasted, and my words will fail to describe. I think you need to experience it yourself.