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Posts Tagged ‘vineyards’

Info for this weekend:  Seeking Matisse

                                               A Vineyard trail

                                               Bandol’s Pottery Market

Reading the British press this morning reminded me how much we have here on our doorstep in Aix to explore.  For instance, the Independent has a piece on Matisse whose exhibition ofvence_matisse_chapel_altar fabulous colourful cut-outs has just opened at Tate Modern.  The paper gives a useful Matisse trail around the Cote d’Azur, the star attraction of course being the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence.  It really is beautiful and well worth a visit.  Here is the Independent article followed by the website for the chapel which has quirky opening hours: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/henri-matisse-and-his-cte-of-many-colours-9259267.html; http://www.vence.fr/la-chapelle-du-rosaire-chef-d?lang=fr

Meanwhile the Guardian has an interesting piece leading us round the writer’s Top Ten favourite vineyards in Provence (more…)

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  Driving into a Provençal vineyard, the last thing you expect to see, surely, is a superb Louise Bourgeois spider sitting in the middle of an enormous plane of water, reflecting the surrounding hills and vineyards.  It is a stunning setting for the sculpture and is in fact the beginning of an art trail that takes the visitor around the 600 acre site.

The walk starts at the sleek visitors’ centre designed by Tadao Ando.  Map in hand you head off up into the hills passing neat rows of Grenache Noir and Syrah vines. 

Various art installations can be seen on the way up but the best is right at the top where an ancient chapel has been renovated by Ando and enclosed in a wooden and glass building.  It’s a beautiful and peaceful spot with views of the shining white summit of Mont Ventoux and the snow-covered Alps. 

Down through the vines, you come to ‘Drop‘ by Tom Shannon, a mirrored installation which reflects the trees that surround it.

 

 

 

 

And finally, there is the Music Pavillion.

Designed by Frank Gehry of Guggenheim Bilbao fame, it is a beautifully deconstructed building with tumbling wooden beams and angled glass – it must look wonderful during evening concerts.

This is an extraordinary venture by the Irish businessman who owns the vineyard.  What a brave and beautiful mixture of art and wine!

DETAILS: Find Chateau La Coste on the road from Aix to le Puy-Sainte-Réparade – it’s well sign-posted.  It is open every day 10:00-19:00.  There are various tours of the art and also the wine-making operation – details on www.chateau-la-coste.com.  The mainly Irish staff are friendly and informative; plus the visitors’ centre has a restaurant where food is locally-sourced and made on site.

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