After an entire week of pouring rain in Provence, we were very relieved that the forecast for the weekend was nothing but Sunshine! Yessss! That spontaneously made us wake up quite early last Saturday morning and get into our car for some serious touring. Something we love to do in springtime and fall. Accelerating morning fog giving slowly way to sunshine and rising temps, empty roads, no reservations required for lunchtime, small crowds… Best time of the year to get out and about!
First stop – Rasteau
As you will all know by now, we are only a short distance away from well known wine producing villages such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Tavel and Beaumes de Venise. One of the villages we saw while touring across the vineyards was Rasteau, a small village of winemakers built on a hill of about 200 meters high where houses and wineries spread out across the flank. There are about 750 people who reside in Rasteau and they are called ‘Rastellains’.
In the picture above you see on your left the Memorial dedicated to the children of Rasteau who died in the wars for France. It is located in the center of the colorful ‘Place de l’Apparent’, the main square in Rasteau around which life in the village revolves. You can click on the pictures below for a few more general impressions.
Rasteau wine info
Rasteau is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) for wine in the southern Rhône wine region. The AOC designation applies to the sweet fortified wines (Vin Doux Naturel) which can be red, rosé or white. The Rasteau AOC covers mostly the commune of Rasteau but also includes some vineyards within the communes of Cairanne and Sablet. The primary grapes in the Rasteau AOC are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.
Off to Sablet
Sablet is a small village located near the Dentelles de Montmirail in the Vaucluse region of Provence. The village sits on a beehive shaped hill bordering the alluvial plain of the Ouvèze River. The name Sablet comes from “sable” (sand) because the village is built on sandstone. As you walk around Sablet, you will come upon picturesque streets, stairways adorned with flowers, small passageways with exposed beams, and gorgeous stone houses. Here are just a few impressions…
Sablet’s Day of the Book
In case you don’t know, Sablet is famous for its book fair ‘Journée du Livre de Sablet’ celebrated in the center of the village every 3rd weekend of July. Well known authors and literary enthusiasts from all over come to the village for book readings and signings for this fête which spreads to many of the Sablet wineries where special events are held with music and other entertainment.
In case you happen to go to Sablet for lunch or dinner, eat at ‘Restaurant Les Abeilles’. It is located at the entrance to the village on the Route de Vaison. In addition to the shaded terrace, perfect for dining alfresco on warm sunny days and evenings, there is a cozy dining room for cooler days and rainy weather.
Restaurant Les Abeilles
Route de Vaison
Tel: 0033 (0)4 90 12 38 96
Last but not least…Séguret
Sablet’s neighbor (walking distance) to the north is Séguret, one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (most beautiful villages of France). Séguret is elevated above the vineyards that separate Sablet from Séguret and wraps around the bottom of a steep hill topped by ruins of its medieval castle.
As you can see on the picture above this awesome little village stretches around a solitary hill topped by ruins of its medieval castle.
If you drive to Séguret you have to park in one of the parking areas just below the village as Séguret is accessible only on foot. From the parking lot, walk up the hill and enter the village through the arched portal (see picture above) of the old wall around Séguret to the main street. The village of Séguret is long and narrow with cobblestone streets and rough stone walls (click on pictures below).
Take a walk, definitely take a walk
If you go to Séguret, plan to make a nice long walk around and outside the village and upon return have lunch at ‘Le Mesclun’ or at its more casual neighbor ‘Côté Terrasse Restaurant’. Both are located on Rue des Poternes in the center of the village. Always make sure to book your table in advance because due to the AWESOME views they are both easily fully booked!
Rue des Poternes
Tel: 0033 (0)4 90 46 93 43
Côté Terrasse Restaurant
Rue des Poternes
Tel: 0033 (0)4 90 28 03 48
I end this post with a Picture Perfect Postcard from Séguret ♥
Thank you for your attention and I hope this info is useful to you.
Till next time!