Mark your calendars. My friend Pablo Valqui, an experienced tour operator, and I have officially partnered up on our first food-and-wine travel adventure, set for the South of France from May 24 through June 4 next year.
We’ll be spending four days in Provence at the outset — including a day trip up to the gorgeous Ubaye Valley where the Robertsons “settled” 25 years ago — then heading to Languedoc-Roussillon before circling back through the Southern Rhone Valley and wrapping up with two nights in Nice. Highlights follow:
Food and wine:
Welcome dinner in the gorgeous gardens of La Table du Pigonnet in the center of Aix-en-Provence (www.hotelpigonnet.com).
2020 Caves d’Esclans Whispering Angel Côtes de Provence
Sacha Lichine’s famous Provençal pink, a major player in the world’s 21st century rosé renaissance, never disappoints. The critic James Suckling scored this vintage a 92, touting the grenache, cinsault and vermentino blend’s “very pale apricot-pink color (with) delicate aromas of sliced apple, pink grapefruit, peach, cream and stones (that) follow through to a medium body and crisp acidity. Deliciously creamy and smooth.” Note that Suckling also gave the 2021, which you’re probably seeing more of on the shelves these days, a 92. The gorgeous estate, acquired by Lichine in 2006, is northeast of St. Tropez overlooking La Vallée d’Esclans with the Mediterranean coast just visible in the distance.