28 Feb Dreaming of Spring in Provence
When I wrote this story for Wander With Wonder, it had been pouring rain in Southern California and I was dreaming about sipping rosé in Provence while sitting in the lavender fields with the sun shining. And if there was one place that would be perfect to do that, it would be at Chateau La Coste, a place for wine, food, hospitality, and art. I wrote about this luxurious place for Wander With Wonder and share it here.
With winter rains deluging California, I dream of spring, specifically spring in Provence, with the Mediterranean Sea air and the purple lavender fields. I dream about traveling to Chateau La Coste in Provence, where nature, wine, hospitality, and art are found.
Chateau La Coste is located north of Aix-en Provence. The property dates back to 1682, but it was in 2002 that Irish property developer Patrick McKillen purchased the land. And in twenty years, he has developed Chateau La Coste into a biodynamic vineyard, a luxury hotel, and an international destination for nature, art, and food.
Nature in Provence
Chateau La Coste is a 494-acre estate. There are lavender fields, olive trees, 15 beehives for honey production, and 320 acres planted with grape vines. There is also a vegetable garden. A herd of 200 ewes grazes on the property until spring. Horses are used on the steeper slopes with the older vines as they are lighter and more meticulous than a tractor. In 2009, the property was certified organic and began biodynamic conversion in 2021.
Set in a beautiful landscape, Chateau La Coste has committed to protecting the environment. While they utilize the fertile land, they also want to leave their mark on it. However, in leaving their mark, they want to respect the environment. Nature conservation is interwoven into every aspect of the business, from production to hospitality.
Hospitality at Villa La Coste
On the property, there is the Villa La Coste hotel and spa, a five-star luxury “palace-rated” hotel. The hotel offers 28 villas with a patio and private terrace with a panoramic view of the Luberon valley and the La Coste vineyard.
The estate also has five restaurants: the Michelin-starred Hélène Darroze, the Argentinian Francis Mallmann, the Italian Vanina, the casual La Terrasse, and café Tadao Ando.
Many of the restaurants use vegetables from the estate garden.
Art at Chateau La Coste
Throughout the property, the Art Trail showcases installations by renowned artists and architects who have been invited to the estate. There are also showpieces by Alexander Calder, Frank Gehry, and Ai Weiwei. Bob Dylan’s first permanent sculpture in France can be found on the Chateau La Coste outdoor art estate. This one-of-a-kind art exhibition is open to the public.
Wine at Chateau La Coste
The 320 acres of vines are planted in the shape of an amphitheater. Vines were first planted on the property more than 80 years ago. The grapes were used for bulk wine before McKillen purchased the property. But McKillen and his team reduced the quantity and increased the quality. Chateau La Coste grows grenache, cinsault, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon for red and rosé wines and vermentino, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, grenache blanc, and clairette for white wines. Recently, the traditional Provencal grape varieties counoise and mourvedre were planted.
Fabulous Rosé Wines
Of course, Provence is most known for its rosé wines, and Chateau La Coste makes a few different expressions.
The La Bulle de La Coste 2021 is a sparkling wine made in the traditional method with syrah and grenache. A sip of this wine is sunshine in a glass. The Rosé d’Une Nuit 2021 is a blend of syrah, grenache, cabernet sauvignon, and cinsault from 15- to 20-year-old vines planted on the hills. Made in stainless steel, the wine has a pretty nose of red fruits, flowers, minerality, and lovely freshness.
The Chateau La Coste Vin de Provence 2021 blends cabernet sauvignon, grenache, syrah, and cinsault handpicked from the old vines at the top of the hills. The wine spends three months in oak and is golden pink with melon, citrus, and lemon pith aromas, crisp acidity, and structured minerality.
The Chateau La Coste Grand Vin Rosé 2021 is a blend of syrah, grenache, and vermentino aged in oak for six months. Notes of flowers, white fruits, and citrus are on the nose, and beautiful minerality on the finish.
Read the original story on Wander With Wonder.