‘A Good Year’ in the Luberon

Okay, spoiler alert, full disclosure, this is Doug’s post. I’ll leave it up to Kris to fill you in on our visit with Stella and other sites in Provence.

For some of you who know me really well, you know that I can be somewhat of a movie geek. I’ve been known to have favorite films that I watch many times over. Some are fairly noteworthy, aka ‘The Godfather Trilogy,’ others more obscure. As an example, I’ve probably watched ‘The Fabulous Baker Boys’ at least a dozen times. 

The Luberon area of France is the setting for another film that grabbed my attention several years ago. The film is called, ‘A Good Year’. It’s a collaboration between Ridley Scott and Peter Mayle. Mayle is best known for his book, ‘A Year in Provence’ which details his purchase and restoration of a home in Menerbes, France. At about the same time Mayle was renovating his home, Ridley Scott was doing the same thing nearby. The men met and the result of their collaboration is this movie.

 

The film is a romantic comedy, chick flick about a winery and this area of Southern France. It was never big at the box office, but the cinematography transports you to another place. The ambience of the Luberon environment captured my imagination. Providence being what it is, we were traveling through the Luberon to the Riviera so took a couple days to check out sights from the movie.

  
 

Like many villages in Provence, Gordes is perched on a hilltop. It provided the set for most of the town scenes in the movie. Today, Gordes is the part-time home to uber rich Parisians. Yet, it maintains it’s small village charm and the townsfolk are quite accustomed to questions about the movie ten years after.

Scenes from the village of Gordes. 

  
  
   
 

This fountain was the setting for several scenes in the movie.

Chateau Le Sirque was the winery in the movie. In reality, Chateau La Canorgue, just outside the village of Bonneiux, is where it all happened. Chateau La Canorgue is a fully functioning, biodynamic winery producing very good white, rose and red wines. 

   
    
 

Tasting from the vines of Chateau La Canorgue.

On the left in the background of this picture is the village of Bonnieux. In the center background is the former castle of the Marquis de Sade (of whips and chains fame) which is now owned by Pierre Cardin. This castle is in the village of Lacoste across the valley.

  

The next time you’re in a mood for a feel good movie or want to get a feeling for where we’ve spent the past two months, grab a jug, a blanket and your main squeeze and check out ‘A Good Year.’ It won’t be the worst two hours you’ll spend.