Aix-en-Provence, wine & gastronomy – on the trail of Cézanne
Art of living - Wine and gastronomy
From Puyloubier to Trets, explore the stunning wine country around Mount Sainte-Victoire and get to know all about the region's talent for all things sweet. Calissons, an Aix speciality, won't hold any more secrets once you've visited the Léonard Parli confectionery. Take to the wine route and check out exclusive wineries such as Domaine de Saint-Ser or Terre de Mistral. Standing proud, Mount Sainte-Victoire has its own appellation and provides a livelihood to the 80 winegrowers in the (Cave des Vignerons du Mont Sainte-Victoire cooperative. Enjoy your day!
Confiserie Léonard Parli, a sweet success
Confiserie Léonard Parli - La grande fabrique et la boutique Pôle d'activités des Milles 95 rue Famille Laurens 13290 Aix en Provence
There's no better way to start your day in Aix than visiting Léonard Parli, a confectionery based in Les Milles business park. Guided tours of the biggest calisson sweet factory in the whole of Aix-en-Provence are available from Monday to Thursday and you can take souvenirs home with you. Tour and tasting free for under 18s! The gift shop is full of tempting calisson sweets, candied fruits and jams.
Gourmet shopping down town
Next head to the centre to discover the lovely ambience of this pretty Provençal city and its many culinary delights. Aix is a foodie paradise with a host of fine delicatessens and gourmet boutiques to tempt the taste buds. From cakes, chocolates, calisson sweets, nougats, ice creams and other varieties of confectionery, you'll be spoilt for choice!
Wine tourism at Domaine de Saint-Ser
Domaine de Saint-Ser Route Cézanne Rd 17 13114 Puyloubier
Now follow the Provençal wine route to Domaine de Saint-Ser, a 33-hectare estate set at the bottom of Mount Sainte-Victoire. Through 19 grape varieties and an olive grove with 13 varieties of the fruit, you'll get a true appreciation of Provence's rich terroir. Follow the botanical footpath which passes through the designated 'Great Site of Sainte-Victoire' and leads to the pretty chapel of Saint-Ser. The best way to get to know the real Côtes-de-Provence!
Tasting at Terre de Mistral
Domaine Terre de Mistral D56b Route De Peynier 13790 Rousset
The Provençal wine route continues on to Terre de Mistral, opposite Mount Sainte-Victoire, which won France's national wine tourism award in 2013. The shop filled with local produce from honey to tapenade is like an Aladdin's cave for gourmets! Visitors can have a guided tour of the site and the production facilities and taste wines and olive oils all year round.
Lunch at Terre de Mistral's restaurant
Ferme auberge Terre de Mistral CD 56b Route Du Regagnas 13790 Rousset
After (or before) you embark on your tour of Terre de Mistral's vineyards, stop for lunch at the estate's farm inn from where you can take in wonderful mountain views. The menu features vegetables from the garden, meats from the farm and recipes made with wine from the estate. Recommended by the Tables 13 guide, the restaurant doesn't have a menu but a blackboard displays the day's options based on the seasons and the chef's mood. Helpful suggestions on pairing wine with your food means you truly get to appreciate the local flavours.
The winegrowers of Mount Sainte-Victoire
Les vignerons du Mont Sainte-Victoire 63 avenue D'Aix 13114 Puyloubier
Further along the wine route you'll come to the 'Vignerons du Mont Sainte-Victoire', the region's winegrowers who formed a cooperative back in 1924. Practitioners of integrated farming, this group of 80 winegrowers uses environmentally-friendly methods to produce their wines and has been committed to sustainable development since 2012. The wines produced here are AOP Côtes-de-Provence and AOP Côtes-de-Provence Sainte-Victoire certified.
Mas de Cadenet, an inspiration to Cézanne
Mas de Cadenet Cd 57 13530 Trets
To conclude your day, complete the Provençal wine route with a stop at Mas de Cadenet, where they proudly grow vines planted 70 years ago. The Négrel family have been farming vines, mostly classed as AOP Sainte-Victoire, since 1813. The vineyard is on a south-facing plateau spread over 50 hectares. In respect of the land, the winery practices organic farming. Private tours lasting 45 minutes are offered for visitors to learn about the wine-making process. The visit ends as you might expect with a tasting, of four wines made on the estate.
- Cooling down beside the majestic fountains in Aix-en-Provence
- Unwinding in the heart of the wine country along one of the walking trails departing from Trets or Puyloubier
- Walking in the footsteps of Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence
- Taking a tour of the recently restored village of Puyloubier to admire its ramparts, chapels and little Provençal square
The best time to visit
- The third Sunday of every month to browse the stalls at Puyloubier's flea market (150 sellers)
- June-July to attend Aix's opera festival held at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché
- Early October for the 'Chanson Française du Pays d’Aix' festival (Aix-en-Provence)
Art of living, Wine and gastronomy
Aix en Provence, Puyloubier, Rousset, Trets
All year round
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Epiphany in Provence is like nowhere else!