Provence is one of the oldest regions in France and has been continuously occupied for over 2000 years. First the Greeks, then the Romans found it to be a wonderful place to live. We have been anxiously awaiting our arrival here ever since we left Fort Lauderdale. Jane and I both devoured Peter Mayle’s book, “A Year in Provence”, where he intones the bountiful merits of this fabled region. I would have to say that the hype was not overstated and we are completely enthralled with the people, the wine and the whole beautiful package. We drove up into the hills above our Port of Toulon berth to the tiny medieval hill town of Le Castellet. Narrow winding streets filled with fragrant cafes and treasure-filled shops greeted us. The place exudes charm and ambiance. The scent of fresh lavender and herbs de provence was everywhere. They even had a shop that specialized in everything to do with lavender. The people were warm and accommodating (the French?). We sat in a little cafe' and I sampled the famous Pastis, a licorice flavored aperitif. Needless to say we never wanted to leave.
went to the Domaine de Souviou vineyard to sample their wines and olive oil. The tasting room was in the wine cave under the 300 year old manor house. There were actually olive trees there that are over a thousand years old! The wines were excellent and I bought a nice 2006 Bandol to enjoy on the boat. The olive oils were sampled by dipping in pieces of freshly made herb bread. The walking tour around the vineyard was delightful and I am sure it is an experience which could be duplicated at any one of the numerous establishments which cover the entire area. I will have to prove that hypothesis at another time. Provence has definitely proven to be better than expected and on the short list for a return extended visit.