Beyond Vin at the Saint Rémy de Provence Fête du Vin
A guest post by author Gayle Smith Padgett:
Swirl-sniff-see-sip. And, sigh. There was a lot of that going on last Friday night in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence—it was the opening of the annual Fête du Vin.
Fête du Vin – More than Wine
The bussed-in tourists had left, leaving lucky locals and overnight visitors all to themselves to spend a leisurely evening wine booth-hopping on Place Plessier in front of the Hôtel de Ville. Minus the high season daytime crowds, by apéro time, there was no jostling or waddling required to make your way to a dégustation (tasting table). Folks simply sidled up to the “bar” of choice and indicated their wine of choice. Down every aisle, the wine tasting ritual played out. Glasses were clinked, rotated in a circle, raised to the light, tilted to the nose and finally pressed to the lips. Aaah.
But the evening was not only for “grape juice” devotees. There were plenty of other delightful discoveries to be made at the Fête du Vin. The delectable treats included just-picked apricots, local honey, spicy saucissons (sausages), and fresh Italian pasta. Also on offer were specialty gifts, along with garden and home enhancers: mini olive trees in terracotta pots, bundles of fragrant lavender, flower bulbs, custom-made cuddly toys and handcrafted knives, perfect for elegantly slicing the yummy goodies too irresistible to leave behind.
Gayle Padgett Smith is an American expat who lives in Saint Remy de Provence with her husband. After twenty some odd years of “flirting” with Provence during their holidays, they decided to retire in the south. It was then that the adventure began and where she finished her first book Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie.
Saint Remy Travel Tips
St Remy’s market day is Wednesday, from 8:30h until about 13h. The old streets and central parking lot (by the church) overflow with stands of everything imaginable. You can find fresh produce, seasonal fruit, local goats cheese and varieties that have travelled from further afield. There are stalls with tempting loaves of bread, more varieties of olives than you thought imaginable, wines (local and otherwise), panise (regional specialty made with chickpea flour), pasta and much more.
The Glanum archaeological site is a short walk from the core of Saint Remy. The Romans were the last inhabitants of this fortified site that had been a Celtic-Ligurian settlement and subsequently occupied by the Greeks. Built over three phases, Glanum is a fascinating chance to step back in time.
Initially a 12th-century Augustinian priory – Saint-Paul-de-Mausole – is the asylum where Vincent Van Gogh spent a year (1889-1890) and produced many of his most famous works.
Tourist Office (website)
Place Jean Jaurès
13210 Saint-Rémy de Provence
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 92 05 22