Did you ever have a Minervoix wine?  If you did but it was long ago, you probably haven’t tried them again because what you had was rough and acidic.  We urge you to give another try to these wines from the southwest of France; they have been remarkably improved since that time.

And should you ever find yourself in the French southwest, you would value a trip to the tiny village of Minerve.  To appreciate it you need to know a little history.

The village is named after the Roman goddess Minerva, whose cult rivaled Christianity in Imperial Rome.  In the Middle Ages, there arose in the southwest a new religion, Catharism, that was opposed to the Catholic Church.  This led to war with the Pope and the King of France, which resulted in the extermination of the Cathars.  140 of them in Minerve were burnt at the stake rather than repent their religion.  Today, the principal street in Minerve is the Rue des Martyrs.

The gruesome events of the year 1210 left Minerve frozen in time. While we have no reason to doubt that the people of the village practice Catholicism today, a great deal of their livelihoods come from tourists who are aware of their association with the Cathars.  In the gift shops, of which there are many, they sell books and ornaments associated with their long-dead Cathar ancestors.

Minerve was carved out of a rock face of a hill overlooking a small river, the Briant.  The houses and buildings are made from local stone, with Spanish-style roof tiles.  (The entire area was considered a part of Spain until the end of the Thirty Years War in 1649.  Spanish cultural influence is still felt strongly throughout the region.)  Everything has been cleaned up for the benefit of the tourists.  But it is not hard to imagine the medieval lifestyle that must have prevailed there for a very long time.

It is a bit difficult to reach Minerve, but the views as you approach the village are worth the drive.  You enter Minerve over a high stone bridge that was built in the early 20th century.  How the world got to Minerve, or how the villagers got out, before the bridge was built is hard to imagine.  Once across, you have to park just outside Minerve and walk into it.  One of the first sights you’ll see is the remains of a tower that was built for defense in the religious war.  The little church dates back to the 11th century.  Might it have been taken over by the Cathars for their use?  Probably.  At the bottom of the Rue des Martyrs, you can see the grounds where the brave Cathars lost their lives.

Make sure to leave time for a meal when you visit Minerve.  You’ll find genuine French country cooking in the restaurants and cafes there.  Most of them are situated with incredible views from the rocky promontory where Minerve sits.  We only know what it’s like there in warm weather, so we can say that the local white wines go a long way towards managing the heat.

Local Shops

The whole idea of a vacation is to get away from your everyday life for a while.  If you’re from a city or suburbs, then Wine Country is a pretty big change, and if you live amidst the vineyards, it’s not really a vacation to go wine tasting.  Still, there are times, even when you want to get away from it all, that a certain amount of reality intrudes.  It makes sense to gain a little familiarity with the shops in the region you’re visiting for just those occasions.

Photo courtesy of Burdge and Associates.

If you’re tasting in Napa Valley or Sonoma County, this isn’t a big deal.  There are towns and main shopping routes where you can find everything you need; it’s not the Sahara Desert after all.  Of course there are shops in the town of Napa, Yountville and Healdsburg but many of them, if not most, are for tourist items, not necessities.  But Trancas Street in Napa and Route 101 in Santa Rosa are long stretches of shopping malls and big box stores.

So if you need Band-Aids, orange juice or some batteries, there are plenty of shops where you can make these purchases.  (A hint for wine tasters on a romantic getaway: There’s plenty of California sparkling wine to be found everywhere, but if you want some real Champagne, you can find it at one of those huge drug stores or in many grocery stores.  It’s not so easy in nearby wine shops, which tend to feature the local products.)

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In Europe, it’s not quite as easy to find the basic necessities.  However, almost every village except the tiniest has a pharmacy, usually indicated by a green neon sign in the shape of a cross.  In the larger towns (and cities, of course) one of these pharmacies will be open all night.  For many of the other items you might need, look for a tabac in France or a tabacchi in Italy.  As might be expected, these little shops sell tobacco products.  But it’s also where you’ll find post cards, stamps, bus tickets, maps, an espresso to start the day and a grappa to end it.

It is also wise to prepare for emergencies.  You’re not going to go travelling in Wine Country armed with information about nearby hospitals or a doctor or dentist who will see you posthaste.  So make sure you know someone who does know or at least the emergency phone number.  Of course, it’s 9-1-1 in the United States but it’s 1-1-2 in France, 1-1-8 in Italy, and 0-0-0 in Australia.

It’s a good idea to have the number of your host (the hotel front desk or the friends you’re staying with) for some oddball needs.  For example, we once had a flat tire while we were tasting in Oakville.  Nobody at the winery we were at knew where we could get a new tire quickly, but the hotel concierge was able to help.

It’s always helpful to know where to get a wine stain out of a sports jacket or to find a deli for a picnic or the late night munchies.  Or a pizzeria, some therapeutic Häagen-Dazs, a bathing suit or an essential whatchamacallit.  So be prepared.

Old Town San Diego

The Temecula Valley is a “forgotten” corner of California’s Wine Country.  Much that is written about it (including in a previous issue of Power Tasting) starts with, “If you happen to be in San Diego…”.  This time, we’ll take it the other way: If you happen to be wine tasting in Temecula, San Diego isn’t far away.  And if you happen to be in San Diego, Old Town is a definite place to visit.

Let us be honest and begin by saying that Old Town is a bit touristy.  Maybe more than a bit.  If the shops and the souvenirs were the only attraction, we would neither go there nor recommend it.  But there is a great deal more, starting with history.

This is where California was born.  In 1769, Father Junipero Serra established a mission next to a fort called the Presidio in exactly the spot where Old Town is today.  Other missions followed up and down what is now California.  It is said that he wasn’t very kind to the people who were already there, so there is no reason to celebrate his life, but there is a thrill to stand in the very place he created a lasting achievement.

Casa de Estudillo.  Photo courtesy of IS Architecture.

Old Town is a celebration of the Mexican heritage in San Diego and California more generally.  The site is split between a commercial area with shops and restaurants and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  The latter is in effect an outdoor museum with many of the older buildings restored and retained.  There are a number of historic homes, including the Casa de Estudillo, which was built in 1829 and is made of adobe, one of the oldest such mansions in California.  Others of these restored homes are the Casa de Machado y Silvas from the 1840’s: the Casa de Machado y Stewart, a soldier’s home from 1835 and the Little Adobe Chapel, which was destroyed and then rebuilt in the 1930’s, with many of the interior contents restored.  There are also museums, trolley car rides, a working blacksmith shop and the oldest brick structure in San Diego, the Whaley House, built in 1865 and, so they say, haunted today.

But enough of all this culture.  Let’s have some fun!

Casa de Reyes restaurant.  Photo courtesy of the City of San Diego.

There are lots of restaurants in and around Old Town.  Most of them serve Mexican food, California style.  We’re not quite sure what Cal-Mex is, but it’s different than the Tex-Mex we taste in the rest of the US.  The ownership and names change frequently over the years, but we have gravitated to what is now called the Casa de Reyes.  There’s a large outdoor courtyard, which San Diegan weather enables most of year.  The bar features a large selection of tequilas and you can quaff margheritas the size of bird baths (in somewhat cloudy memory, at least).  Mariachis entertain regularly and there is a nice, non-rowdy party atmosphere at all times.  It’s the kind of place where families get together.

Daytimes are the time to visit the cultural attractions, but we recommend you dine in Old Town in the evening.  You’ll feel like you dropped onto the set of Romancing the Stone.



It isn’t necessary for us to mention it, but we will anyway: We love Wine Country.  The sectors we spend the most time in are in the United States, but we have also gone wine tasting in Europe, Africa and Australia (sadly, not yet in South America).  We find the scenery to be beautiful, the food delicious, the people friendly and, of course, there’s the wine.

Meadowood Resort in St. Helena.  Photo courtesy of Five Star Alliance.

We have seen a worrisome trend in recent years, beginning in Napa Valley but spreading elsewhere as well.  What was once an area dedicated to a very particular kind of agriculture, with a few nice hotels, is being transformed into upscale resorts with wine tasting as a sideline.  Now, we have nothing against attractive hotels and try to stay in them as often as we can when travelling.  And there’s nothing wrong with golf, tennis, spas and top-flight dining rooms.  But when they start crowding out reasonably priced hotels and inns, so that Wine Country becomes the preserve of only those who can afford to stay there, then we have a problem.

Perhaps an even greater issue, as we see it, is that the vibe of Wine Country becomes different.  Perhaps 75 years ago, the reason to visit Napa Valley or Sonoma County was to be in the country, buy fresh fruit and maybe do some horseback riding.  But for at least forty of the intervening years, roaming through vineyards and tasting wine that have been the attractions there.  Even in some of the sleepier parts of Europe or Australia, wine tasting as a weekend or vacation activity has taken off.

Hotel de Pavie in Saint-Emilion.  Photo courtesy of All Wine Tours.

By changing the emphasis from wine tasting to spa living or golf, the tasting rooms will attract a different clientele.  Instead of couples taking in three or four wineries in a day, there will be visitors who only schedule one tasting a day, scheduled around their tee times or massage appointments.  Diners may have glasses of wine at suppertime, instead of a bottle and they may not be as particular about what’s in that bottle.  In fact, they may be more inclined to dine at the resort than in the local restaurants.  We have already experienced a bit of this in Napa Valley and are fearful it will creep in elsewhere.

Wine tasting has not been an inexpensive avocation ever since wineries discovered that charging for small pours of fine wine was a more profitable proposition than giving it away.  But tasting was a pleasure that could be enjoyed by casual tourists as well as connoisseurs with deep pockets.  Altering the focus to those who can afford Wine Country resorts will change the way that wineries approach their market.

There is nothing that can be done about this trend.  Those who want to open resorts will do so, and those more interested in golf or workouts are free to indulge those pastimes.  But those of us who are wine tasting devotees can go about doing what we have been doing.  We can, and will, visit, sip, dine, sip some more and maybe stay for dinner.  Let’s hope the wineries continue to cater to us.


Americans have a lot of difficulty with the word, orange.  We’re not sure if it’s two syllables or one or whether the first two letters are pronounced ah, aw or oh.  With Orange counties in New York, California and Florida, we’re not even sure where it is.  So a discussion on Orange, a city in France’s Rhône valley, ought to start with the pronunciation, which is oar-AHNZH, with the r sort of strangled at the back of the throat and the n stuck in the nose.

The city of Orange has a lot of history.  First there were the Gauls. Then when Julius Caesar won his war, some Roman veterans set up what became Orange.  The name is based on the Gallo-Roman name for the fort that was there and over time it’s morphed into the color we know as the Syracuse University basketball team.  Oh, yes, and that fruit of the same name.

The Roman Theater in Orange, in performance.  Photo courtesy of All About World Heritage Sites.

There are no Gallic ruins that can be seen but there is a lot of ancient Rome still in Orange that can be visited and admired.  The best known is the Roman Theater, still in use for concerts and plays (in French, not Latin).  The seating was restored in the 19th century, but the stage – overseen by a statue of the Emperor Augustus – is original.  The theater accommodates 10,000 people to this day.

There is also an Arc de Triomphe that had been incorporated into the walls of the medieval city and now stands alone in restored glory.  The triumph in question was Caesar’s victory over the Gauls, which does seem a bit like rubbing it in.

Orange sits very much in the midst of Provençal Wine Country.  Châteauneuf du Pape is the next town over; Beaume de Venise, Vacqueyras and Gigondas are due east, twenty minutes’ drive on small rural roads.  There is no shortage of great wine to be had if you’re in Orange.

The market in Orange.  Photo courtesy of The Good Life France.

As wine tasters, you’ll certainly take advantage of travelling through the environs of Orange.  But be sure to leave time to enjoy this fine little city.  It is much more than ruins.  Of course, there’s a museum and a cathedral, as there are in virtually every French town and city.  But the people of Orange (Orangians? Orangeois? Orang-utans?) live there in leisure and comfort.

We have had the occasion to shop and cook in Orange, due to the pleasure of having friends there.  The chickens are plumper and more flavorsome than we’re used to in America.  The bread and pastries are indescribable.  And they grow more than grapes in the region around Orange.  If you manage to be there on market day, make sure to have some apricots, prune plums, figs and an incredible fruit called mirabelles.  They put whatever you buy at your local grocery to shame.  And for all you know, they could have been grown in an orchard only a few blocks away.

At those same markets, you can find the fabrics, table cloths, herbs, pottery and honey that Provence is famous for.  Take advantage of them while you’re there; you never know when you’ll pass that way again.

Mustards Grill

Power Tasting does not review restaurants.  This article is about a restaurant, but it’s not about the food, the drinks or the service but rather a special restaurant as a destination in itself.

Mustards Grill has been sitting alongside Route 29 in Yountville since 1983.  It was opened by Cindy Pawlcyn back then as a self-described “deluxe truckstop”.   We’ve been to truckstops, and that’s not what Mustards is.  Truckstops have big rigs in the parking lot, showers, and large persons more intent on nourishment and a quick getaway than on fine dining.

Photo Courtesy of Open Table.

What Mustards is and always has been is a roadhouse, a great American throwback, and that’s what makes it a Place to Visit.  If you feel as though you’ve heard of roadhouses, that’s probably because you came across the term in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was the ultimate chronicler of an emergent upper middle class in the 1920’s, now a century past.

A roadhouse was a drinking and dining establishment in the rapidly changing outskirts of major cities.  The boys had come marching home from World War I and having seen Gay Paree wanted no more of life on the farm.  Prospering in the post-war boom, they had snazzy roadsters and straw boaters and wanted to get out of town and have a good time.  The girls of the time were no less eager, with their bobbed hair and turned down hose.  Roadhouses spring up to meet a market demand.

Which brings us to Mustards.  Napa Valley was making some pretty fine wine in 1983, but once the sun went down, there was no place of any quality to get a meal or a drink.  Like the soon-to-be-suburbs of the 1920’s, Napa was changing its identity from a rural sector not too far from San Francisco into a winemaking (and tasting) mecca.  Ms. Pawlcyn started Mustards to meet a latter-day market demand for a simple place with not so simple food and lots of wine.  (It’s also worth visiting for its vegetable gardens, which we addressed in a previous article – still worth reading.)

She tipped her intentions on the side of the building, announcing that steaks, chops, ribs and “way too many wines” are to be had within.  From that day to this, Mustards has kept its promise.

There was a seamy side to roadhouses back when, including dancing flappers , gambling, bar fights and prostitution.  None of that is present at Mustards, of course, but for out-of-town visitors there is a sense that you’ve happened upon something only the insiders know about, something like a speakeasy (the urban equivalent of a roadhouse).  That’s because you’re as likely to be dining at a table next to locals and winemakers as other tourists.

A Stutz Bearcat.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

We always drive up to Mustards in a car we rented at the airport.  Please excuse us if we pretend that we’re in a Stutz Bearcat, the quintessential roadster, wearing racoon coats.  We’ve been stopping at this bit of Americana through all the years of its existence and we can’t thinking of being in Napa Valley without going there.

Visiting Beaune

If you are a true wine lover, then at some point in your life you have to go wine tasting in Burgundy.  Now, Burgundy is a big place and it includes winemaking areas such as Chablis, Beaujolais and Mercurey, all sources for very fine wine.  But when people think of Burgundy what they really have in mind is the fabled Côte d’Or, French for the Gold Coast.  That’s where the Grand Cru Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs come from.  It runs from Dijon (of mustard fame) in the north to a cluster of villages on the road to Chalons to the south.

And smack in the middle is the town of Beaune.

Anyone who goes wine tasting in the Côte d’Or will pass through or around Beaune.  For many visitors, Beaune is simply a starting point for going somewhere else.  Mostly they’re going to villages that equate to wines, like Nuit St. Georges, Gevrey-Chambertin, Volnay, Pommard or Montrachet.  We would like to recommend that you stop a while in Beaune itself.

The Place Carnot in Beaune.  Photo courtesy of Beaune Tourism.

The center of town is the Place Carnot, named after 19th century President of France who had the ill luck to be assassinated.  There is a small carousel in the middle of that, that in its way says this is pleasant square is in a pleasant town where visitors are always welcome.

Cheeses at the shop of Alain Hess.  Photo courtesy of Wine Keller.

The square is ringed by shops and cafes.  One shop kept bringing us back time after time: Alain Hess, Maitre Fromager (Master Cheesemonger).  Charles DeGaulle once questioned how anyone could manage a country with 500 types of cheese.  We never counted, but we think you can find all 500 of them at M. Hess’ shop.  And of course he can sell you the wine and some charcuterie to go with the pique-nique you’ll have next to a vineyard.

There are lots of interesting things to do while you’re in Beaune.  In a previous edition, we’ve described the Hospices de Beaune, which is a treasure not to be missed whatever else you do in the region.  You can do some in-town tasting at Louis Jadot or at numerous oenothèques.  There’s the Musée de Vin, which is installed at the former palace of the Dukes of Burgundy.  And here’s a special tip: We’re not sure it still exists, but if you walk down the Rue du Faubourg Madeleine, away from the Place Carnot, on your right there’s a nondescript tabac with the best chocolate ice cream we’ve ever eaten.

There are many restaurants in the Côte d’Or where you can dine on French haute cuisine, and a few of them are in Beaune itself.  But if you want to feel French while you dine, go to a little café in Beaune where you can order a meal made from the fine Burgundian farms.  Start with escargot, drowning in garlic butter.  Then it’s either a boeuf bourguignon made from local Charolais beef or a roast poulet de Bresse, considered the finest chicken in France.  There will be local cheese before dessert, such as the bleu from the aforementioned Bresse.    You will soon realize that you’ve spent an afternoon indulging yourself, all the while pretending that you’re a local.



Bale’s Mill

There are times when we’ve been on a wine tasting trip that we’re eager to do something else than tasting wine.  (Gasp!)  Often it’s because we know we’ve had enough alcohol for one day, but sometimes it’s just a desire to take advantage of other things that are of interest in the area we’re visiting.  As with most Americans interested in wine tasting, we’ve been to California’s Napa Valley more often than any other destination, which has led us from time to time to Bale’s Mill.

Bale’s Mill, as it is today.  Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.

The precise name is Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, but we’ve never run into anyone who calls it by its full name.  The road signs don’t, either.  It’s located on Route 29 where St. Helena and Calistoga meet.  There’s parking just off the highway and then you follow a trail through the woods until you reach the mill.  The trail is paved, so if you didn’t wear your hiking shoes, you’ll be all right.  And there are more than two miles of trails through the woods if you did come appropriately attired.

The mill has been there in one form or another since 1846, when that part of the world was called Mexico.  It was in actual use until the 1900’s and has been retained and restored several times over the years.  The most recent renovation was only completed in 2020.

The mill was erected by a doctor named Edward Bale.  It was used by local farmers who brought their grain there to be ground into flour on the mill stones, which were powered by a large wheel driven by Mill Creek.  No doubt the mill came first and the name of the creek followed.  Bale had married into the Vallejo family that governed the region and when he died in 1849, his widow took over its operation.   Evidently she was a canny businesswoman and did quite well with it.

There are tours (with guides in historic dress) and milling demonstrations on the weekend.  School tours happen during the week, so you might have a troop of little visitors with you when you go.

There is an attraction to Bale’s Mill for those whose primary purpose for being there is tasting wine.  Napa Valley was and is primarily an agricultural area (although tourism is rapidly catching up).  It’s one thing to read about the history of the region and what has been grown there and quite another to see and experience it.  Bale’s Mill is a trip into Napa Valley’s past and in a way of the people who made it what it is today.

Before there were big corporations selling expensive bottles, there were farmers, many of whom were Italian immigrants who tilled the soil.  Yes, they planted vines to remind them of the homes they left behind but they had to eat more than grapes.  They grew wheat and corn and brought their produce to the widow Bale.  There was – and is – an elevator that carried the grain upstairs to be cleaned.  Then it was fed into the grindstones to make flour and cornmeal, which ultimately became bread.

All in all, Bale’s Mill makes a fine diversion from a day of sipping wine, one with a lot of history to be discovered.

Love Lane, Mattituck

Yeah, the name of this place to visit when you go wine tasting on the North Fork is just too, too cute.  Evidently, back in the mists of time, it was a simple trail that came to be known as the local lovers’ lane and the name, with a little editing, has stuck.  For the visitor to the North Fork, primarily interested in wine tasting, it offers several reasons to stop.

First, and perhaps foremost, it’s a place midway between Riverhead and Greenport where you can get something to eat.  Of course, if you’re going to be sipping wine all day, it’s important to put some food in your stomach.  So if you’ve visited one or two wineries already, you’d better stop and Love Lane is really the only place to go.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

There are two dining spots to choose from, Ammirati’s and Love Lane Kitchen.  With no criticism of the former, we keep going back to Love Lane Kitchen.  It’s the sort of eatery where everybody seems to know everybody, welcomes one another by first name and always has time for a cup of coffee.  There always seem to be a few moms with youngsters trying hard not to be noisy.  The menu is primarily sandwiches and salads, although breakfast can still be had through lunch time.

Oh, and the cakes are made by Mom.

Besides the food, there is an attraction to Love Lane that is more atmospheric than commercial.  The street is three blocks long but everything you might want to see is on only one of those blocks.  It hearkens back to a small-town America that may never have been quite so shined up for the tourists but that nevertheless was and still is real.  Trees line the street.  There are places to park.  The shops have old-timey storefronts.  And there’s a charming white clapboard church at one end of the street.

The shops on Love Lane do reflect the sensibilities of wine tasting tourists.  Lombardi’s Love Lane Market is the sort of gourmet grocery that would be right at home in New York City.  So are the cheese shop, the boutiques and the sweet shop(pe).  But they don’t have the feel of bits of Manhattan that people have dragged with them out to the country.  Locals patronize here as well, and they all stay open in the winter.

Sure, lots of countries have small towns.  In Bordeaux or Burgundy there are also little villages, each with un café, une épicerie and une église.  But those are French cafés, groceries and churches.  This is unmistakably an American small town, with a vibe more New England than Big Apple.

The other end of Long Island is Brooklyn, definitely urban.  The North Fork is rural and Love Lane is a corner of that lifestyle, only two hours away.  It is a destination in the sense that you would come there to have lunch and then stroll around.  If you don’t pop into every store or the wine tasting room that’s right there, you can see it all in ten minutes.  But those are ten well-spent minutes.


Right in the middle of Burgundy’s fabled Côte d’Or, there’s a hill.  It’s in the village of Aloxe-Corton, nestled next to Pernand-Vergelesses and Ladoix-Serrigny.  For lovers of Burgundy wines, these are not just the place-names of some tiny villages.  They’re the names of specific Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs.  That hill is also the name of a wine appellation.  It’s Corton-Charlemagne.

Charlemagne.  Photo courtesy of history.com

No one encourages you to walk through the vineyards atop that hill, but no one stops you either.  And when you do, you can tell yourself that you’re walking in the footsteps of Charlemagne.  Yes, that Charlemagne, the fellow who was crowned as the first Holy Roman Emperor on New Year’s Day in the year 800.  Back in the day – way back – he owned the vineyards atop that hill.

There’s no particular reason to believe that Charlemagne actually trod through the ancestors of these vines.  But he could have.  And that fact alone allows you to indulge yourself in the ancient history of wine.  Today and for time immemorial, they’ve grown Chardonnay there and not just any Chardonnay.  These grapes go into the grand cru white wines that bear the name, Corton-Charlemagne.  Legend has it that Mrs. Charlemagne wanted him to drink white wine so his beard wouldn’t appear dirty when he drank.  Who knows, it’s true.

Okay, you’ve climbed the hill.  You’ve walked through the vines.  You’ve bathed yourself in history.  What do you do next?

For one thing, go back down the hill and visit the wineries in Aloxe-Corton.  There’s no shortage of wineries in and around this village.  The best known among them are Louis Latour, Corton-Grancey and Corton C.  Some of them offer both grand cru whites and reds, which is unique to this little spot along the famous Route des Vins.   (Most other Burgundian AOCs have one or the other, but not both.)

Corton C, also known as Corton-André and Pierre André Estates.  Photo courtesy of Le Bien Public.

Perhaps more so than any other locale in Wine Country, a major attraction of wine tasting in the Côte d’Or is the architecture.  Oh, Bordeaux and the Loire Valley have magnificent châteaux, but they don’t have the roofs like they have in Burgundy.  For centuries, the grandees of the region competed with one another in topping their homes with most elaborate tiling and the area around Aloxe-Corton has some of the most inspiring ones.

In particular, you should make a stop at Corton C (formerly Corton André as well as Pierre André and many names before that, over the centuries).  It lays claim to the Corton-Charlemagne hill and keeps it in production after all these years.  The château was built only in the 19th century, replacing one from the 18th century which sat on top of the 15th century caves.  Once again, history flows through everything here.

The elaborately interlaid tiles, polished and resplendent in the sun, make this winery among the most photographed in the world.  And not just the roof.  The towers and pinnacles give the whole building a fairy-tale quality.  You expect to meet princes and dukes when you enter, but it’s only other wine lovers like yourself.