A prior posting about the southern Ardeche covered through the first part of our week there. The latter part of the week involved drives to a number of small villages scattered throughout the hills of the Ardeche, visits to a few more wine producers (plus 2 more stops at Domaine Mazel), and a couple of trips to market towns.
On Thursday afternoon, after going to the morning market in Vallon Pont d’ Arc, we drove towards the Cevenne Ardechoise hills, first stopping in the village of Vinezac, so named because of all the vineyards surrounding the village. After Vinezac, we stopped at the small village of Faugeres, where winemaker Jerome Mazel’s mother hails from. The village is dominated by a church, with spectacular views to the surrounding countryside.
The next morning we went to the market in Ruoms, where we bought a large supply of fromage de chevre from a local goat cheese producer, as well as a bottle of 2005 Domaine des Vigneaux “Peyrol” Vin de Pays Coteaux de l’Ardeche, a 100% Syrah wine aged for 1 year in oak. I didn’t know anything about the wine, but the wine seller, who seemed to be partaking of plenty of his wares, highly recommended the producer. We had it a few days later with dinner, and it was outstanding; a complex, smooth red wine on a par with just about any northern Rhone Syrah wine I’d ever had.
Friday afternoon we took a long drive, through the larger towns of Aubenas and Val-les-Bains and then up into the hills to several small villages: Antraigues, Meyras, and Thueyts. These 3 village, along with a few others we visited, are officially designated as Ardeche “Villages of Character.”
Antraigues, a hilltop village:
We finished the day, our last full day in the Ardeche, with another stop at Domaine Mazel, where Jerome’s father had just put a printout of my web posting about the domaine in a sleeve for display in the cave/tasting room. We chatted with Mazel pere et fils one more time, bought some more wine, and said au revoir. The next morning we left the Ardeche after one more brief stop at ... not Domaine Mazel ... Ruoms for some photos
To be continued (with more photos) when I get faster Internet service, hopefully tomorrow ......