Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wine & Olives in the Bandol Region

If you missed our stop in Sansary-su-mer, check it out here: Oui Mademoiselle

After the charm of the fishing village, we boarded our vans and headed to Domaine de Souviou, a wine and olive estate in the Bandol region of Provence. 

Here's a snippet about the estate: Founded many centuries ago, Domaine de Souviou (which appeared on the Beausset land register in 1588) is a concentrated representation of the Proven├žal culture and landscape. The vineyards cover 25 hectares and are cultivated using traditional methods and the greatest possible Care for the environment. They produce a Bandol wine in three colours that has acquired a strong reputation for quality. The olive groves contain 5000 trees, some ofwhich are over 1000 years old. 

1,000 year old trees. Can you imagine? ME EITHER! I mean, our lil ole country is all of 200+ years old. That's a baby in olive-tree years! 

Here's mom & I at the estate: 

Here's one of the ancient olive trees.

Some things I learned about olive trees: 
--very hardy species: drought-, disease- and fire-resistant
--the root system is very robust and capable of regenerating the tree even if the above-ground structure is destroyed. (hence why a tree can survive for 1000 years!)
--The older an olive tree is, the broader and more gnarled its trunk appears. (uhm, yeah. that explains it!)
--the olives are harvested in the fall (September), and often by hand as the olives themselves are easily damaged
--olive oil is yummy

Ok, you caught me. I didn't learn that last one on the trip - I already knew it!

The olive trees were just budding when we visited: 

The olive grove:

We enjoyed a tasting of the wine and olive oil from the estate.

While the wine was quite good, it was the olive oil that stole the show! Rich, yet light. I could have dipped the bread and used a whole bottle of it!

After a brief tasting, we returned outside to enjoy the sunshine and the beauty of the estate.

Antique grape press (antique sounds better than old, right??)

There were flowers EVERYWHERE. So very  beautiful.

This was the first time I'd seen poppies, and how I loved them!!!

And one last view of the estate before we headed off to Cassis.

Useless trivia: the owner told us that The Bachelor would be filming at the estate the week after our visit.  Cool!!!

Our next stop was Cassis - a resort town on the Mediterranean. Here's a sneak peek:

Enjoy your new day!!


  1. This looks like a gorgeous trip you have taken! Such beauty everywhere!