TasteThe Riviera Grapevine

Olive Harvest on the French Riviera

Grape harvest season may be well and truly over, but the shorter days and cooler nights of November can only mean one thing – the turn of the olives on the French Riviera. The harvest season officially kicked off on October 27th.

There are some 300,000 olive trees in the Alpes Maritimes

Olives in the Var

In 2004, Gerry and Mark Whitcombe-Power found the Domaine des Escavalins, a magical place in the heart of the Var, high in the wild hills by the national park of Sainte-Baume above the village of Belgentier. They planted 2,000 olive trees to produce their olive oil of Provence. Under AOC regulations, 80 percent could only be of regional varieties, which, here in mid-Var, might be the Bouteillan, Aglandou or Cayon. The remaining 20 percent could be of more specifically local species, with 5 percent of that being of one’s personal preference. The Escavalins groves include Rougeonne de Signe, Pardiguier, Brun (common in the valley of Cuers), Cayet Roux and others. Continue reading here about olive oil from the Var.


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Chrissie McClatchie

Chrissie McClatchie

Sydney born Chrissie fell in love with the French Riviera at the age of 17, when she embarked on six months of French lessons (and table dancing at the Vieux Nice institution Chez Waynes).

Almost ten years after her first Nice experience, Chrissie returned to Nice for a summer and somewhat fortuitously landed a role with a local company selling fine wine to the superyachts along the coast, which cemented her passion for the fermented grape.

In late 2012 Chrissie started her blog, The Riviera Grapevine, to chronicle the wonderful and little-known local wines and indigenous grapes found along the French and Italian Riviera. Chrissie still works in wine and can often be found enjoying a sneaky Provence rosé at one of the al fresco bars on Nice's Place Garibaldi, or with her nose in her ever-expanding collection of wine literature.

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