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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Friday, June 1, 2012

blogging from France

The entire processfrom europe leaves .much to be desired.Here they call wi-fi wee-fee and until just a few minutes ago weve been in very rural places where it was unreliable at best.s Yesterday and the day before I filed what I thought were wonderful accounts of my experiecnes in Languedoc, which for marketing purposed theyve dubbed the South of France, But niether of them have showed up and I cant imagine why. So I will try to reproducethem now even tho it means skipping the chance to swim after walking around outdoors all afternon in100 degree heat. I still am not certain about celsius conversation but the thermometr I saw in Narbonne (and otherwise delightful 52,000 person town) read 36 celsius so I figure its' ppetty close. I dont need a thermometer to tel me its really hot. I will catch up with the details in my sty which will run in July, but here's a recap of what was lost in cyberspace.

On Wednesday we were welcomed with freshly picked cherries by Anne, proprietress of Chateau Mougues du Gres in the countryside near Beaucaire, where we began our day (after the cherries) with  a walk around the farm and thecountrysie around it. Its the Costieres de Nime applataion, which was only formed in 1986. Aboutten years prior to that her father in law had planted grenache grape and spaced the widely on a hillside. His wine making colleague questioned his sanity because its a low yie grape and at the time this area was producing quantity, not quality. But now the others have caught up with him and are making lush flav, blending grenache with syrah and a few other varietals.Since terroir is an important concept here, and one reduced to the word microclimtae in America, Anne tookus out into the garrigue, what the countrysideis called here. Driving by it took like nothing more thana lot of scrub bushes punctuated by an occasional live oak tree and lots of shoulder high yellow floers i first mistook for the gorse Id seen in Scotland. But here they smell like honey..

After a few minutes we were smelling the wild roses, thyme. rosemary, fennel, and other plants that. "Some think our syrah has tastes of olive," she told us, adding that the family also takes its oloves to a local cooperative from pressing into olive oil. Large stone, that looked to me like smooth river stones, are part of the soil. They collectthe heat by day and keep the soil warm at nihgt, making it possible to grow the grapes found here. The Collard family's farm is mostly in grapes but also has cherries, apricots, peaches and pears, which are tended by others.
I need to take a break and find out how to turn on the air  conditioning in this lovely but very hot placewhere we are staying. Its obvious to me at least that Frecnh nch devices and I dont get along. I cant even get the phone to work so will have to walk the equivalnet of about 5 blocks the reac hassistance at the front desk.  Then I will tryi to catch up and blog further aboutNimes, the Pont du Gard, Narbonne and Fontfroide Abbey. Till then, here are some resoruces: www.mourguesdugres;; and

Here are some wbistes to chec out B  kThe  comprise the garrigue rytao yide yside orful wines fro  sNdeD


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