Dreaming of Spring in Provence

Written by Allison Levine

February 7, 2023
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Spring in Provence is perfection. Travel along to Chateau La Coste in the South of France for great wines, hospitality, and art.

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 graze 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.

Villa La Coste during the spring in Provence.

Villa La Coste. Photo courtesy Richard Haughton

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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 interior of one of the 28 Villas at Villa La Coste. Photo courtesy Richard Haughton

The interior of one of the 28 Villas at Villa La Coste. Photo courtesy Richard Haughton

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.

Francis Mallmann at Chateau La Coste.

Francis Mallmann at Chateau La Coste. Photo courtesy Richard Haughton

Many of the restaurants use vegetables from the estate garden.

La Terrasse, Château La Coste during the spring in Provence.

La Terrasse, Chateau La Coste. Photo courtesy Richard Haughton

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.

Crouching spider - Louise Bourgeois.

Crouching spider – Louise Bourgeois. Photo courtesy Richard Haughton

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.

Vineyards at Chateau La Coste during the spring in Provence.

Vineyards at Chateau La Coste. Photo courtesy Vincent Agnes

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.

Rosé Wines from Chateau La Coste.

Rosé Wines from Chateau La Coste. Photo by Allison Levine

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Sipping these rosé wines makes me feel like spring is here as I dream about visiting this magical property, Chateau La Coste, and spending spring in Provence. If you are interested in virtual travel or a real visit to France, let Wander With Wonder be your inspiration.

Spring in Provence is perfection. Travel along to Chateau La Coste in the South of France for great wines, hospitality, and art.


Dreaming of Spring in Provence

Written by Allison Levine

Allison Levine is owner of Please The Palate, a boutique agency specializing in marketing and event planning for the wine and spirits industry. With over 20 years of experience in communications, marketing and event planning, Allison is passionate about the world around her and the diverse people in it. Allison holds a Master’s Degree in International Communications with a focus on cross-cultural training from the American University School of International Service. She also holds a WSET Level 3 Certificate from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET), an Italian Wine Specialist Diploma from the North American Sommelier Association, a Certified Meeting Professional Certificate (CMP), and is BarSmarts Wired certified. Prior to launching Please The Palate, Allison worked at The Tasting Panel Magazine/Blue Lifestyle, running the marketing and events division and focusing on organizing over 75 trade events each year across the United States. Always passionate about wine and serious about making her passion her career, she started out at LearnAboutWine where she built and ran the start-up wine education business, organizing classes and private events throughout Los Angeles. After that, she was in the trenches as a sales rep at importer/distributor Chambers and Chambers where she learned about the wholesale aspect of the industry. As an industry expert, she works with wine regions around the world, organizing trade and media events around the United States. She has traveled extensively and has lived abroad in Italy, Spain and Mexico where she developed her passion for food and wine. Her work allows her to live life to the fullest and, as a freelance writer, Allison communicates her experiences into articles, as well as in her blog (pleasethepalate.com/blog). She is a columnist for the Napa Valley Register, as well as a regular contributor to California Winery. She is the host of the podcast WineSoundtrack USA where she interviews winemakers and winery owners who share their stories, insights and some humorous anecdotes. Her work has also appeared in ATOD Magazine, Wine Industry Advisor, Drizly, WineTouristMagazine, Thrillist, LA Weekly, LAPALME Magazine, BIN (Beverage Industry News), FoodableTV, Drink Me Mag, WeSaidGoTravel.com, Wine Country This Week and The Tasting Panel. Allison sits on the Board of the non-profit Vintage Hollywood and is the Wine Committee Chair for its annual food and wine charity event.

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