After treating ourselves to some family time in Barcelona, it was time to head north into France for one of the wine-centric phases of our journey. As with most trips of this nature, there is never enough time to do and see enough things. Still, we enjoyed a mix of local touring and professional wine development, heading off onto the backroads to meet local producers and understand in greater detail the vagaries of wine production in Provence and the Southern Rhone. (I’ll have a piece on the wine part of this leg soon.) In the meantime, here are some pictures of Aix, a town you just cannot do justice to in 48 hours.
Following a far-too-short 36 hours in Aix, we headed up to Avignon, where we planned to spend several days learning as much as we could about the surrounding wine-producing regions. As long-time fans of the wines from this part of Southern France, we were eager to put names to places and compare imagination to reality. We spent a day with Marc Jonas, a local guide and educator, learning about the geography, topography, geology, and vinology of Gigondas and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, two of our favorite French appellations. Marc was so effective as a guide and teacher that we are still processing the many things he shared with us. And Avignon itself was a delight, as we enjoyed the city’s profound history and its present amusements, a bounty of good restaurants being just one star in Avignon’s diadem.