It’s raining today in Provence and after nearly a month of clear, blue skies and gentle, warm autumnal days, temperatures have plummeted signaling the beginnings of winter. No where, even Lourmarin, is as idyllic in the rain, or is it?Lourmarin, Luberon, Vaucluse, Provence in early winter

Perhaps enticed by the recently hung lights across the villages streets and the shops starting to become festooned with Christmas, with the clocks falling back this weekend, winter seems to have silently crept upon us. A low lying mist hangs over the hillsides, a mystical backdrop for the foliage’s late autumnal palette of colors.

View of the vines in Autumn of Chateau La Coste, near Aix-en-Provence, Provence

Sweaters, scarfs and umbrellas have been rooted out and fireside baskets replenished with logs ready for the approaching winter chill. Tears, from hours of relentless rain run down the drain pipes, the walls of shuttered buildings streaming as if they have head colds.

Domaine de la Citadelle, Luberon, Provence, in the rain in winter

Meanwhile, my son 5000 miles away in San Francisco, reminds me that there daytime temperatures remain at a consistent 25 degrees and although the nights are drawing in winter is still a memory. Navigating the puddles along the grey twisty lanes, the vines beside me dripping like rows of forgotten washing, California seem very far away. With the weather forecast in Provence not that promising, has this special corner of the world lost its allure?

You probably know what I am going to say. For me the sensory splendor never diminishes here and despite the rain and cloudier skies it remains a beguiling delight to explore and be a part of.

Vineyards by Ménerbes, Luberon, vaucluse, Provence in early winter

Walking and hiking

The leaves are turning to shades of deep umber and gold and on long meandering walks the natural beauty is a visual joy. 

Wine tasting

The vendagne (grape harvest) is complete but the wine domains are still open from which to sample.

Val Joamis wines near Pertuis, Luberon, Provence

Exploring local villages

During winter in Provence, popular villages like Roussillon are more serene without the  jostling tourists.

Visiting the Luberon village Roussillon in winter

The sunflowers might long ago have ceased to dance but everywhere there are shutters to catch the eye!

Autumn shutters in Provence

Markets during winter in Provence

The market stalls have thinned out but so have the visitors so its easier to get around and there’s still plenty of bounty to entice.

Olives

Olives for sale in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence market in winter

Nougat

French nougat for sale Saturday Market Uzès,

Winter vegetables

Winter Vegetables in Provence

Cèpes Porcini, one of the tastiest wild mushrooms one of many varieties available just before winter in Provence.

Cèpes for sale in the market in Place-aux-Herbes, Uzes

Christmas markets

Christmas Marchés de Noël  everywhere, they’re about to start!

Christmas market stall in Aix-en-Provence

Restaurants

Restaurant reservations are easier to secure, especially those sought after el fresco spots, so hard to get during busier times!

Lunch for 2 at Isle sur la Sorgue in winter!

And just being here, however simple…

Wine bottle in Lourmarin, Luberon Provence in winter

remains intoxicating, particularly here ~ ‘A Good Year’s’ Château Canorgue!

Château La Canorgue, Bonneiux, Luberon, Vaucluse, Provence in late autumn

And especially here in Lourmarin,

View of Lourmarin, Luberon, Vaucluse, Provence in autumn

my fairy tale village.

Twilight in Lourmarin, Luberon, Provence in winter

for further information about Lourmarin the Luberon and Provence
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