We made it! After 14 hours on a bus, 15 hours on a plane, an emergency landing in Brasil, missing our connection from Rome to Nice, and losing our 'big blue bag' for three harrowing days we are finally settled in France.
We currently live in a converted greenhouse (no joke) in a tiny village called Bormes Les Mimosas, about 20 km from St. Tropez. In exchange for our posh digs and a big French lunch, we'll spend the next 4 months gardening, landscaping, pruning our very own grapevines, and doing lots of home construction.
We thought it was a sweet deal since we not only get to explore the best beaches in France, but we are also are in prime position to awaken our Old World palates with day and weekend trips to the nearby wine regions.
Of course Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhone Valley top the list, but first, we want to explore the lesser known regions in our backyard. We're smack dab in the middle of Provence in the Cote d'Azur wine region, and there are nearly 20 wineries within walking distance.
One thing we learned in Argentina is that great wine doesn't have to come at a high price, and we're convinced the same is true here. One of our main goals over the next few months is to challenge the stigma that good French wine only comes from first-growth chateaus with a 4-digit price tag, and seek out the best low-cost, high-quality reds, whites and rosés.
Also, on our summer itinerary:
- Weekly French lessons
- Launching Jeff's viticulture adventure, 'Project Vagabond'
- Introducing you to more amazing people via our 'Behind the Vine' interviews.
- Visiting the islands just off-shore (one of which is a Naturist island...Ooooh!),
- Exploring local restaurants, pubs, landmarks, and beaches to find out which, in the tourist-laden French Riviera, are worth a visit and which are overrated (St. Tropez is under the microscope next week).