t’s hard not to fall in love with Provence. Spend some time there and you’ll be enchanted by the picturesque villages, the delicious array of foods and wines and the magnificent scenery. I recently returned from a wine-tasting and photography trip through Provence, organized by Wendy Jaeger of Bliss Travels. Erase from your mind any thoughts of leaders waving small banners to corral a passel of tourists. This was a group of nine people who were free to participate in planned activities or go their own way.
below and on blog posts to come, the sights, sounds and tastes that
Wendy had planned were irresistible, starting from the views of stone
houses and lush grapevines as we approached our small village
in the Luberon.
family-owned hotel dripping with rust-colored vines. My room was the
one with the red shutter doors on the ground floor.
cobblestone paving and windy streets dotted with tiny shops here and
there and homes with colorful shutters.
picture-postcard “new” 17th century church at
the base, while a medieval church stood sentinel at the summit.
it better. In the late afternoon, a group of men would gather to play
boules, or petanque, a game similar to Italy’s bocce.
auspicious start to the rest of the week’s meals. We began with a
freshly picked, tender leaf salad topped with warm goat cheese.
potatoes and steamed carrots, green beans and turnips.
delicious meal – a tarte tatin.
dessert using apples, sugar and pastry that’s baked on top, but then flipped over like an upside-down “pie.” The apples are ideally cooked long and
slow to develop the caramel flavors. The large one below is a little
scorched near the center, but still was delicious.
pans, you can make it in individual size portions too, like this one
that’s perfectly caramelized:
included photography lessons by professional
photographer Anthony Bianciella, and the sessions were among my
favorite parts of the trip. Anthony really helped those of us on the
photography track with plenty of advice on the mechanics of taking a
good photo, as well as tips on framing and improving composition. He
displayed a kindness and patience that was truly appreciated by those
of us who less than proficient with some of the technical aspects of
there were plenty of opportunities for imbibing, with both fuller
bodied red wines and the lighter, omnipresent rosé wines. In the past, I had always avoided rosé wines, but I came to
a new appreciation for them on this trip. They weren’t the overly
sweet wines I remembered from my youth, but rather were refreshing
young wines redolent of fragrant fruit.