EXPERIENCE ALL FOUR SEASONS OF La Verrière
The advantageous altitude presents four very pronounced seasons, significant to the health of the working vineyard. As each distinct change in weather occurs, the surrounding nature ebbs and flows, bringing with it distinctive patterns of activity in plant, animal and human life. If relaxation is not your only objective when visiting, there’s always plenty to learn. [Bénédicte, one of your hosts, is always available to share the new and intriguing things happening in the vineyard throughout the year.]
LIFE BEGINS IN SPRING
As the climate begins to warm, everything in this UNESCO biosphere reserve - one of the few in France - comes back to life. Spring often starts late in April because of the altitude, and this is often the most enjoyable season for Nature lovers, as the landscape suddenly bursts alive with colour, activity and the delicate perfume of numerous flowers. The gardens, sanctioned by the official PACA (Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur) Parcs et Jardins society, suddenly overwhelm as the roses bloom in sequence. Clouds of the biosphere’s 1200 species of butterflies hover over budding plants, to a soundtrack of buzzing, humming and chirping. Bright green leaves adorn the old vines, while trails of poppies and other wildflowers carpet the rows. An ideal season to hike, cycle or visit cultural sites.
Easter Antique Fair, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
Easter Pottery Fair, Bonnieux
Golf Celebrity Charity Event, Avignon
Rare Plant Fair, Sérignan
Féria Bull Fighting Competition, Arles
At La Verrière: this is when excess grape buds are trimmed to concentrate quality. This process is known as ebourgeonnage.
Dessert Festival, Aix
Wine & Vine Fest, Visan
Flower Fair, Richerenches
Ladiesʼ Wine & Art Fest, Visan
At La Verrière: now is the time for the honey harvest.
SUMMER: THE SEASON OF RELAXATION
Summer is the perfect time for pure hedonistic relaxation. From late June to early September the famous Provençal sunshine provides a comforting backdrop for lazy sunbathing and recreation by the pool, though a cool breeze from the altitude typically punctuates the heat; a characteristic scent of lavender encourages impromptu snoozing. Dark green leaves in the vineyard conceal the baby grapes as they begin to flourish. Explore the local countryside, by car, bicycle or on foot. There are plenty of things to do outdoors or escape to the local sites, markets and festivals.
Art Festival, Avignon - famous for its theatre, including some performances in foreign languages
Jazz Festival, Orange - free concerts near the town hall
Choregies dʼOrange - a famous summer opera festival during which the giant amphitheatre is used as the stage from across the world.
At La Verrière: the time of the relevage; lifting the vine wires to support the branches.
International Photography Festival, Arles
Theatre Festival, Avignon
Contemporary Dance Festival, Vaison-la-Romaine - artists perform at the amphitheatre and occasionally at La Verrière
Lyrical Music Festival, Orange
Opera Festival, Aix
Tour de France bicycle race up Mt. Ventoux
Pottery Fair, Séguret
At La Verrière: the beautiful smells will indicate that the lavender is ready to harvest.
Chamber Music Festival, Suzette
Piano Music, La Roque DʼAnthéron
Medieval Veraison festival, Châteauneuf-du-Pape - Medieval stalls and wonderful wines.
Choralies Choir Festival, Vaison-La-Romaine (every 3 years)
Annual Ruggieri Fireworks display in Monteux
AUTUMN IS A TIME FOR HARVEST
As the weather cools, the beautiful Indian summer lasts until the end of October. A sea of red vine leaves offers a stunning contrast to the surrounding landscape. The vineyard is at its liveliest in late Autumn as grapes are hand-harvested and vinification of our Chêne Bleu wine begins. With fewer tourists in the area, it’s the perfect season to witness local authentic Provence culture or learn about winemaking. Walk from site to site amongst the vines and test the different developing grape flavours. Ask to eat with the harvest team and witness the fervent hive of activities. We host special educational programs for hands-on participation, by request.
Soup Festival, Crestet
Journées Gourmandes Gastronomic Fest, Vaison-la-Romaine
At La Verrière: the moment that everyone has been waiting for, the Vendange, the wine harvest!
All-Saints Antique Fair, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue
La Bacchanale Running Race, Vaison-la-Romaine
At La Verrière: the olives have ripened and are waiting to be harvested.
GET COSY IN WINTER
The winters at La Verrière are very pronounced because we are so high up. The famous Mistral wind blows up from southern France, and a blanket of snow covers the vineyard. The frost helps to naturally eliminate many pests, resetting the cycles of life for the following season.
The priory is closed except by special arrangement, and although this is a relatively quiet time for visitors, the Tasting Room is open all year round and wine enthusiasts continue to partake in the wine experiences.
There is also a winter ski lift on Mont Ventoux nearby. Although the ski runs are short, this is still a fun day out. For more adventurous skiing, the world-class resorts of Serre Chevalier, Les Orres, Orcieres-Merlette, SuperDevoluy, Risoul, Montgenevre, Gresse en Vercors, Chamrousse and L'Alpe d'Huez are within a 3 to 4 hour-drive from Crestet, depending on traffic.
Special Christmas Market, Avignon
The 13 Desserts of Christmas, Châteauneuf-de-Gadagne
At La Verrière: a busy period of the year when the vines are pruned and shaped; the truffle hunting season begins; and the Medieval Feast of Christmas is hosted.
Winter Dance Festival, Avignon
Literary Walks, Lourmarin
Cheval Passion Horse Convention, Avignon
Truffle Mass, Richerenches
At La Verrière: this is the month in which the vines are pruned. Also, the traditional midnight feast and party, New Years Reveillon de la Saint Sylvestre, welcomes in the new year.