Commanderie De PeyrassolCommanderie De Peyrassol
©Commanderie De Peyrassol|C.Chillio

Top 5 places

where art and vines go well together in Provence

In Provence, art and wine are inseparable and absolute musts. The leading producer of rosé wines in France, Vins de Provence AOP supplies about 6% of world production. The châteaux and wine estates go hand in hand with works of art and open-air galleries, creating admirable and unusual venues. A land of inspiration for many artists, Provence offers landscapes with striking contrasts where vines and sculptures of all kinds go well together. Focus on 5 Provencal places, where art and wine blend.

Le château La Coste (Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade)

Easy to recognize with the enormous silver spider guarding its entrance, Château La Coste is one of the wine-growing venues which is an absolute must in Provence. With its legs planted in the water of the pool, Louise Bourgeois’ spider is one of the 38 contemporary works of art on the estate. You can see the works of many artists spread around the vines, the garden, the contemporary art centre and the many buildings on the estate: Oscar Niemeyer, Renzo Piano, Richard Roger, Jean Nouvel and even Frank O.Gerhy provide an exceptional setting. In addition to its many works of art, Château La Coste also has a wine-growing estate which produces certified Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and IGP des Portes de Méditerranée organic wines, which makes it a choice location for those who love to discover wines. And last but not least, Château La Coste also offers visits of its winery, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel. And for the most enthusiastic, there are also wine-tasting workshops!

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Le château de La Gaude (Aix-en-Provence)

At just 10 minutes from the centre of Aix-en-Provence, Château de La Gaude is one of the most beautiful art and wine venues in the region. Its typically Provencal bastide offers a superb view of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire, the symbol of Provence, and the many French-style formal gardens on the estate which are listed Monuments Historiques. From the point of view of art, Château de La Gaude has some exceptional pictures and sculptures by the artist Philippe Pasqua, which are exhibited directly in the gardens or in the rooms of the château. All year round, the estate hosts many exhibitions by well-known contemporary artists. As art is one of the site’s major assets, Château de La Gaude is planning to open a new exhibition area in the near future.

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Le Château Vignelaure (Rians)

In 1960, Monsieur Georges Brunet, from Bordeaux, came to live in Château Vignelaure at the foot of the Montagne Sainte-Victoire. He started by developing the château’s wine-growing estate and gradually improved the quality of its vintages. Château Vignelaure is currently one of the region’s references as its red and rosé wines (organic and labelled Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence) are particularly appreciated there. Art also occupies an important place in Château de Vignelaure, which hosts many artists, exhibitions and events all year round. The estate also has an underground art gallery, created by Georges Brunet in 1972. His exceptional art collection includes works by César, Buffet, Cartier-Bresson, Arman, Lartigues, and even Miro… The Château has changed hands several times since 1960, but Georges Brunet’s successors have all wished to preserve a château where art and wine could live in perfect harmony.

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La Commanderie de Peyrassol (Flassans-sur-Issole)

The Commanderie de Peyrassol is an absolute must in the region and it stands out from the other estates in this ranking because it is located in Flassans-sur-Issole, in the Var, just 70 km from Aix-en-Provence. Founded in the 13th century by the Order of the Knight Templar, the Commanderie de Peyrassol has almost 850 hectares of land. The Commanderie served first as a resting place for the pilgrims going to the Holy Land. Peyrassol produces AOP Côtes de Provence wines which are listed among the most prestigious in the designation. In addition to being an exceptional wine-growing estate, the Commanderie de Peyrassol is also an art venue. In the middle of the vines, contemporary works by artists such as Daniel Buren, Niki de Saint Phalle, Dan Graham, Carsten Höller, Bertrand Lavier, Richard Long, Ugo Rondinone, Lee Ufan, Victor Vasarely, Joana Vasconcelos and Bernar Venet, stand tall in this unique landscape dotted with vines. The Commanderie de Peyrassol also offers many art-linked activities, wine and good food, notably the Rendez-vous Art & Vin two days per year, and also the “Alchimie accords mets-vins” Wine workshop, the “l’Alchimie de la vue et du toucher” Art workshop and even “l’Alchimie chez Jeanette” which allows you to experiment with the menu of a two-starred chef and advisor to the Commanderie. All the dates and arrangements for the events for this year can be consulted on the Commanderie de Peyrassol site.

Le château Bonisson (Rognes)

Right in the middle of the Aix-en-Provence vineyard in Rognes, the Domaine de Bonisson is home to an 18th-century bastide and its Italianate terrace which overlooks the vineyard. Surrounded by woods and hills, the estate is a centre for creativity advocating open-mindedness, originality and encounters. The Château de Bonisson produces organic AOP Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence wines, meticulously made with the Le Dorze family’s savoir-faire. The Château used to welcome many artists who wished to make the most of the tranquillity of the place to create their works. Some of the works never left the château, and are currently exhibited in its “Bonisson Art Center” art gallery. The centre allows artists to exhibit their talent and visitors, who can freely enjoy a multitude of contemporary art exhibitions, dealing in Geometrical Abstraction, Abstract Expressioism, Minimal Art, Neo Realism, Street art, and even Conceptual Art… In addition to these art exhibitions, the Château Bonisson offers its visitors original events such as concerts in the vineyards with tastings and discovery evenings with a starred chef around a gourmet meal…

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