The nearby villages of St-Remy-de-Provence and Les-Baux-de-Provence (13 Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence) lie either side of the dramatic Alpilles, a range of hills with craggy outcrops surrounded by classically beautiful Provencal landscapes, and home to some excellent Provence wines.
Set in the heart of the Alpilles regional country park, Les Baux-de-Provence is a listed heritage site that has won titles such as “one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France” or “an Outstanding Centre for Flavoursome Food”. In fact, the village is unique because it is just that bit more famous than others, and just a bit more magical. And the essence that gives Provencal villages their very special atmosphere and fragrance is here too – small squares, well-shaded terraces, narrow streets and small shops.
Although not as dramatically situated, St-Remy-de-Provence is all that you could expect from a sophisticated Provence village – with its medieval and mainly traffic-free centre it offers wonderful colour and atmosphere, with shaded bars, interesting restaurants and plenty of shopping for local foods, crafts and art.
The town has a strong connection with Van Gogh and hosts a bull-running festival in September.
The wines under the appellation “Les Baux de Provence” AC cover a corner of southwest Provence including St Remy-de-Provence. The reds and rosé wines are made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grapesm whilst the few whites are produced from Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Vermentino and Roussanne. I find the rosés particularly attractive – this is Provence after all!
My preferred producer is Mas Sainte Berthe which lies between the two villages. There is a waymarked path through their vineyard which affords great views of Les Baux and the Alpilles. The Mas produces red, white and rosé wines, Olive Oil and Tapenade.
For more info on the wines of the area see www.lesvinsdesbaux.com
St-Remy-de-Provence is well-sited for visits to Avignon (Palais des Papes), Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Arles, Nîmes and Aix-en-Provence What more could you be looking for in a wine village??
There is a good range of hotels to choose from – probably the best positioned is the Hotel de l’Image which is in the heart of St Remy de Provence.
Other accommodation in and around St Remy de Provence including B&Bs, self-catering apartments and hotels including in Les Baux de Provence.