Artists Inspired by ProvenceInspireMaison Mirabeau Wines

Spend an afternoon at Château La Coste

After leaving Aix-en-Provence and its busy neighbourhoods, the winding road descends through a forest of pine trees and cork-oaks. After a 15km drive, at the bottom of a small valley, the eye catches a glimpse of metallic silver reflections.
You have arrived at Château La Coste.

Impressive concrete gates (from superstar architect Tadao Ando) mark the entrance of the domaine. The visitor is then welcomed by the beautiful Art Centre (also by T. Ando), a concrete and glass building surrounded by a shallow pool of water. A giant steel and bronze spider (Crouching Spider by Louise Bourgeois) stands guard in the pool. Continue reading here to read Sophie Bellard’s original article and to see the photos by Mirabeau Wine.

Just outside of Aix-en-Provence

The Chateau La Coste is a terrific art, gastronomy and wine destination for any season. One of Aix-en-Provence’s greatest attractions lies exactly ten miles out of town.

It’s a winery. Yes, but…  It’s an art centre. Yes, but… It’s both and more than that. It’s Chateau la Coste, a vineyard set in a beautiful hilly landscape that is dotted with world-class architecture and works of art. This is where in 2002 Irish businessman Patrick (Paddy) McKillen bought the existing La Coste winery near the village of Le Puy Ste Réparade to indulge his two passions: wine-making and creating a center for contemporary art. Anne-Marie Simons writes about re-discovering this vineyard.

On a sunny day, the Art & Architecture walk will keep you warm as you climb the slope to the Tadao Ando Chapel. La Chapelle is at the highest point of the vineyard so the view of the vines with the Luberon massif in the background is well worth the walk. The walk takes approximately 2 hours, at a moderate pace, and costs 15€ for adults. There is a guided tour in English at 14:30h daily. Booking in advance is recommended.

In addition to the fabulous art, this winery is a gastronomic destination, a great place for lunch or dinner.

The spa at Villa la Coste delivers pure escapism. The 5-star luxury hotel spa has seven (7) treatment rooms. The problem is choosing between the wellness menu items, which include salt treatments, mud baths and aromatherapy massages. Enjoy the sauna, hammam, or Vichy shower. Spend a day, a half-day or become a member.


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Maison Mirabeau Wine

Stephen had been in the corporate world for 15 years and in August 2008 turned down a promotion that would have meant more money but also more stress, longer hours and less time with his young family. For many years the Cronks had been dreaming and talking about moving to France to make their own wine, but the moment never seemed quite right to make the big leap.

Soon after, a good redundancy offer seemed the perfect opportunity to turn the dream into reality and after selling their beloved house, they left the leafy suburbs of south-west London in August 2009. Their worldly possessions were packed up on the back of a truck and with barely a word of French between them, the family headed south to a small village called Cotignac, in the heart of Provence.

The Cronks spent a year getting their bearings, learning to live the provençal way, as Stephen was criss-crossing the country researching and finding the best vineyards to work with. The next step was setting up a small wine business with the principle objective of making a Provence rosé that would be regarded as one of the very best from the region, while building a brand that people would grow to love. In order to achieve this aim, they put together a highly experienced winemaking team and threw their heart and soul into the brand and innovative communications with their customers. Mirabeau is now being sold in more than 30 markets, has won medals and earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics, but what really makes Stephen happiest is that their wines are an integral part of people having a great time together.

Read more about the Mirabeau Wine story here.

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