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PROVENCE: GEOGRAPHY MATTERS
“Provence” has more efficacy as a "brand" than as a place. One rarely if ever hears any residents of the Vaucluse say that they live in "Provence." The word is heard frequently in its adjectival form: provençal.
As geography, the term "Provence" suffers abuse. The French consider contemporary 'Provence' to take in three administrative department:
Confusion pops up due to the administrative region PACA: Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
When "Provence" is employed for the department of the Var (Toulon, St, Tropez) or the department of the Alpes-Maritime (Côte d'Azur) or even the five departments of the Languedoc-Roussillon, it is the "brand" asserting itself.
This is a regional distinction that Peter Mayle buys into 100% in his book Provence A-Z. In fact, if Mayle had been 'geographically-correct,' his iconic best seller would have been titled "A Year in the Luberon."
The Luberon and the Comtat Venaissin, referred to as the “Comtat,” are the two large regions within the Vaulcuse,
Author Archives: BB Kuett
“What’s the point,” was the bemused reaction of a confrere in the Vaucluse to a first read last fall of an article in the New York Times, “Steal My Vacation: Norma Kamali’s Provence” by Stephanie Rosenbloom. A footnote informed readers … Continue reading
Carpentras: Grenache Bistro – A Jazzy Wine Shop and Wine Bar for Honing Your Palate on Rhone Valley Vintages
At Le Bistro Grenache in Carpentras, the simpatico owner / sommelier Christian-Paul Peyron knows how to liven up a set, having worked as a location and set manager in the French film industry. For the evening of International Grenache Day on … Continue reading
Crillon Le Brave: A Romantic Rendezvous Heightened By Local-Produce-Cum-Local-Wine at the Bistrot 40K
In the pleasant verdant countryside of the Vaucluse, about a half-an-hour drive northeast of Avignon, stands a large proud stone edifice on the perched hill of a village in miniature, Crillon le Brave, which before it stretches out a commanding … Continue reading
Provence Wine Shops and Wine Tours: Romancing the Grape in Avignon, Arles, Apt, Menerbes, Malaucene, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille
Any place that you stay in Provence is only a hop and a jump to the wine cellars of vineyards and wine cooperatives, which are sprinkled about the countryside, where you can buy direct from winemakers for prices well under … Continue reading
Saint Didier: Awesome New Flavors at Silvain frères, Gnarly Nougat Heaven – Take Home the True Flavors of Provence
Shes as sweet as tupelo honey Shes an angel of the first degree Shes as sweet as tupelo honey Just like honey from the bee – Van Morrison – Spend some time tasting samples in the shiny boutique of Silvain … Continue reading
The urge to indulge oneself in the delights of everything Provence is symptomatic of the impoverished assumption that everything in the region is authentic, e.g. made in Provence. Not so. Market day somewhere in Provence. You approach a stand displaying … Continue reading
“You must know it’s right The spore is on the wind tonight…” Steely Dan, Rose Darling Is it a bed and breakfast? Or is it a painting, an art work à la provençale? Both, when you find yourself amidst the … Continue reading
“Let’s get lost, lost in each other’s arms Let’s get lost, let them send out alarms And though they’ll think us rather rude Let’s tell the world we’re in that crazy mood.” Chet Baker If you are in a romantic … Continue reading
“A fragrance that blows cool and warm, dry and sweet. A landscape in Provence, dry earth, fragrant purple fields, the wind of the mistral… draped in a luxurious coat of mouthwatering licorice.” Jean-Claude Ellena, creator of “Brin de Réglisse” … Continue reading
“It is something to do with the light, I suppose, and the airiness and bareness and frugality of life in the Midi, which induces a simplicity of thought, and a kind of whittling to the bone whatever may be the … Continue reading