Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s Pavillon Bouachon wine cellar (formerly Pavillon des Vins) in the heart of the village has been transformed into a brand new space after 18 months of renovation work. With a lovely wine tasting area bathed in natural light, wooden rafters in its big reception room, and new aging cellars, this great venue continues to offer popular themed wine-tasting workshops.
The Lincelé family at the Lavender Museum has plenty of ideas for interesting and fun new ways of enjoying the emblematic flower of Provence. This year, visiting groups can take part in hands-on sensory workshops and take home their own fragranced watercolour, or a lavender sachet they’ve made themselves to inject a bit of Provençal freshness into their linen cupboards!
Here’s some good news for people who love exploring the countryside or climbing the slopes by electric bicycle – Vaucluse now boasts 13 charging stations and 150 Fast Chargers spread across the region, at Tourist Offices and member organisations of the Accueil Vélo (bicycle-friendly) network.
Street artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest is taking over the Grand Chapel of the Popes’ Palace until 29 February 2020 with his new show, Ecce Homo.
The world’s oldest opera festival, the Chorégies d’Orange, was created in 1869 and relaunched in 1971 in its current format. Every evening of its summer programme, 8,000 opera and classical music lovers throng the tribunes of Provence’s ancient Roman Theatre in Orange. The setting of this prestigious festival is no accident – acoustics at this venue are outstanding because of its immense backwall, which is the only stage wall to survive among Roman theatres built in Europe.
You can now come and explore Bollène’s historic hydroelectric power plant on the Rhone river! This masterpiece of industrial architecture was one of the last massive infrastructure projects to be built in post-war France. Commissioned in 1952, it boasts a gigantic turbine hall bathed in light through the geometric lattice of openings in its imposing Art Deco facade. Both are listed as Historic Monuments and can be visited during the newly launched 2-hour tour.
At the Roman Theatre of Orange, visitors can now extend the traditional tour of this ancient monument with a seven-minute Virtual Reality experience that immerses them in its two thousand years of history. This is a real bonus, while the inner façade of its famous stage wall is temporarily undergoing essential renovation works.
Connoisseurs of French-made quality blankets will know the name Brun de Vian-Tiran, the oldest cloth-weaving factory still running in France. For eight generations and down two centuries, the Brun family has been travelling the world in search of the finest wools to weave at its l’Isle sur la Sorgue manufactory. Now they’ve opened a new museum to showcase the wonderful saga of their family business.
Vibrations is the name of the brand new 360-degree show held in the main courtyard of the Popes’ Palace from mid-August to mid-October. To be enjoyed again in 2019!
There’s one Provençal speciality that’s not very well known, but it’s very photogenic – candied fruit! Vaucluse has long been a kitchen garden of France, and this technique preserves the fruit so it can be eaten in winter – especially at Christmas, when glacé fruit forms one of the traditional “13 Desserts”. As the candied fruit capital of Provence, Apt has just opened its Maison du Fruit Confit (House of Candied Fruit), where visitors can discover these magic ingredients and learn how to cook with them.