Saturday, 15 August 2015

All Roads lead to ........ Wine?

The day started out bright and early with a cool breeze that was lovely for the short time that it lasted.  We were up and out for the market at the nearby community of Pernes Les Fontaines.  It was a significantly different experience from 2 years ago when the rain and wind were howling and most vendors closed up early.  Today it was bustling,

You are able to see from here that there are going to be plenty of things to choose from and we were not disappointed.

The place was also wall to wall people.  Edmund marched through like a footballer and cleared a lovely path for those of us following in his wake.  Two elderly ladies soon got in between since the path was clear.  Edmund plowed on oblivious to the fact that I was now a ways behind...sorry I missed the picture of the elderly ladies trailing behind him.

 Local produce today had these lovely fresh apricots that Edmund thought were too good to pass up.

And the crate of peaches  looked  mouth watering and with the locals telling us this farmer is really honest, sells good product and has good prices meant we came home with these gems.  They are so juicy I almost needed a shower after.

The afternoon saw us heading off on a winding road to take us to Chateauneuf du Pape.  Unfortunately we did  not return the same way that we went as I was going to take a picture of one of the roads that we traveled.  Let's just say that it is a good thing to have a very small car.  This is the road that leads up to the "Castle" or the summer home of the Pope dated in the late 1700's.  We decided to park in the town and go walk about.

I took a picture of this sign because I thought it was quite humorous,  A street of mostly wine cellars. Little did I know how important this sign would become in assisting us to find the car that we had parked....around here.... somewhere....

On the way up to the castle there were lots of these little lovely's to be seen.  The wine before it hits the bottle and there are lots and lots of them!  Apparently the red is best when aged for about 5 years and if you can hold out and keep it even longer then please remember to re-cork every 10 to 15 years and seal it with wax.  Oh the interesting tidbits that you collect along the way!

Here is one view of the valley, As far as the eye can see there are vines.  It really looks quite majestic with the mountains in the background.

But sadly It is hard to capture the beauty and the majesty of this with a mere camera!

As we continue to walk upward we finally encounter the wall of the Chateau,  It really is quite impressive.

Again the valley from a slightly different angle.  Notice yet more grape vines in the foreground and the background.

 My apologies for the side view, I forgot to flip it! this is one of the gates at the chateau...not the one that you normally go through

As you can see there are rows and rows of vines, this one gives you a slightly different angle and the mountains show up a bit more

Now for a close up of those vines.  They are weighing heavy with fruit.

 Another sideways shot!  This is the entrance to the Chateau and the wall attached to it.  I still find it hard to get my mind around these structures.  Built in the 1750's with no permits, no engineers, no modern equipment to lift the heavy stone to great heights and yet here we are

These are either young vines or newly pruned.  As you walk in the gate and look to the right you once again see vines as far as the eye can see

For my white wine drinking friends yes there are beauties ready for the bottle as well

My niece Kylee asked me to have a glass of Shiraz for her here.   So I thought she would appreciate knowing that there is a whole section dedicated to her favourite grape.

And here they are on the vine.  Sadly though they are not the best grape in this area.  This area is know more for the Ganache which is one of our favourites.

The Remnants of the castle and while it is extremely impressive it was not nearly so impressive as the fields of grapes.  Sadly I spent more time with the grapes than I did exploring the ruins.  Oh I meant the bottled product as we did a wine tasting here in the 2000 year old cellar.  We were given 6 varieties palate will be educated!

 As we meandered down the stairs we found this lovely little church (Church of the Assumption)  at the bottom.  We could only see from the entrance as locked gates were in place to keep the people out,  Now doesn't that give us a lovely message as a church.

The church is very bare of ornamentation.  The Stained glass windows were about all that I could see

The Stained glass, hard to get at the best of times was impossible today from the distance that I had to stand

Upon our return today this lovely little butterfly  was flitting from flower to flower and barely managed to remain still for this picture.

There is no doubt that we are in wine country and yes along the roads you can stop just about anywhere for wine.  So whether you are looking for the "BIG" names like the winery of today or something much smaller (and more reasonably priced -- I think) you can find it along these roads.  The guide today said "remember that the best bottle of wine is the one that you like best!"  I really liked that, and apparently my taste buds like the best as my taste buds seem to prefer the wines a bit on the expensive side!

As a sidebar,  in the travels today I did not get to drive!  I think yesterday's sounds from the passenger seat might have a lasting message when it comes to the narrow and winding roads.  Maybe I should not have commented that I found the shoulder hard to judge since there are none!  Now if the hood of the car were a bit more visible perhaps that would help!  Oh well, let's see what tomorrow will bring!

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