"They Say It's Your Birthday. We're Gonna Have a Good Time." Today is Wayne's birthday. What a great place to be for a birthday, Aix-en-Provence. To celebrate we drove out to the Chateau la Coste vineyard that thanks to a new owner, Paddy McKillen, includes an art center, sculpture throughout the grounds, lodgings and restaurants. It all remains pastoral and quaint, though. We started with a lunch on the patio under grape vines in dappled sunlight.
Following lunch, the hour and a half tasting tour was very informative and explained the vineyard's new approach to wine making using correlated aluminum buildings to first, separate the grapes for red, rose and white and next, using gravity to move the grapes and juices underground to the second building where the real wine making begins. Apparently, the use of gravity reduces the oxidization on the grapes that pumping would incur. All the pressing and fermentation takes place in huge stainless steel tanks in this second building. Narry a wooden barrel was sighted. (Although our guide informed us there were small batches they continued to ferment in wooden barrels that takes on a Chardonnay quality.)
I also learned that a vineyard cannot use the name chateau unless exclusively grows and uses its own grapes.
Chateau la Coste