When the USA fell in love with rosé
It wasn’t that long ago that rosé wine was hard to find in USA. Initially it was often confused with white zinfandel, wine of a similar color but not similar in any other way. I can even remember rosé being dismissed as being a watered down red with half the alcohol content! But then, about ten years ago, Provençal rosé hit the American supermarket shelves and when sales exploded it sent the local vintners scampering to produce something to rival it. And small wonder that Provençal rosé has been such a success, for this subtle, pale pink shimmer in your glass, so crisp and refreshing seems to define what so many of us love about Provence. As it sparkles like sunshine, with every sip one is transported to be sitting at a bistro table below the shaded branches of gently swaying plane trees, cicadas chattering incessantly above as you ponder the biggest decision of the day, what are you going to order for lunch?
I digress, what has this got to do with Léoube the wonderful rosé from a wine château near Bormes-Les-Mimosa in Provence? Well believe it or not the first time I tasted Léoube was not in Provence but in California. A dear friend found it at our favourite, local épicerie, Diablo Foods in Lafayette, 30 miles east of San Francisco near where we live, and we were smitten.
The second time I saw it was a year later, again not in Provence, but at a gorgeous organic farm shop, Daylesford, in The Cotswolds, England.
In fact, I remember it was the only wine I saw there.
Situated next to an organic farm, belonging to the Bamford family, in addition to the farm shop, Daylesford offers a collection of stunning home, gift, clothing and garden shops, a cookery school, several fabulous dining options and the Bamford Wellness Spa.
There are also several equally lovely deli style farm shops and cafés in London, click here for locations
A few weeks after my first visit to Daylesford we were having lunch at a nearby pub in the Cotswolds, The White Rabbit, in Kingham and once again Léoube featured predominantly on the menu. Intrigued we got chatting to the manager who explained, Daylesford owns the White Rabbit, Daylesford is owned by Lord and Lady Bamford who also own a château in Provence, volia Léoube!!
Organic farming, a JCB and a chateau in Provence
Their story goes something like this….. when the Bamfords, also owners of JCB (England’s equivalent to Caterpillar) bought a fairy tale château in Bormes-Les-Mimosa it came with a small vineyard.
They became friends with their neighbour, a local vintner, Jean-Jacques Ott. They dispatched some JCB’s, recruited Monsieur Ott and later his son, who helped them in the conversion of both the vineyards and the olive grove to organic production. It’s an incredible success story!
In my opinion they have established one of the loveliest domaines in Provence. Under Lady Carole Bamford’s expert care, just like their farm in England and Daylesford, the commitment to sustainability and nurturing the land shines.
Although rosé is the star of the show they also produce red, white and sparkling. They now export to more than thirty countries and are full of further aspirations.
The tasting room and shop at Château Léoube
The shop at Château Léoube has the same enticing ambience as Daylesford.
At both locations the understated, artistic displays reek of style and good taste.
The natural, ‘feel good’ look tugs at your soul and makes you ignore the price tag!
And let’s not forget the opportunity to taste the wine!
Just down the road the story continues at The Léoube Café.
The café and it’s location on Pellegrin beach is yet another Daylesford style haven.
One that feels like you’ve arrived at a 5 star desert island.
Although we did think it was a bit much having to pay 11 euros to park the car when we had a reservation for lunch at the café.
The menu was delicious.
We chose the daurade ~ sea bass
The shop on the beach was a continuation of the same allure, brimming with temptation.
A beach version of the ladies clothing shop at Daylesford.
The Daylesford ladies clothing shop.
Even the plates for sale at Café Léoube begged to be purchased.
Everything at Café Léoube and Pellegrin Beach is dedicated to relaxing with its laid back, feel good vibe.
We will be returning for sure; to Pellegrin Beach, Château Léoube and Daylesford of course!
2387 Route de Lèoube 83230 Bormes-les-Mimosas
Open from April – October for lunch and dinner reservations are essential.
Call +33 04 98 07 69 88 or book online here
Check out their summer program and the various events hosted here throughout the season.
Click here for directions to both the Château and Café at Pellegrin Beach.
Daylesford near Kingham Cotswolds GL56 0YG +44 (0)1608 731700