Domaine Des Peyre
“We had been here often before as tourists, desperate for our annual ration of two or three weeks of true heat and sharp light. Always when we left, with peeling noses and regret, we promised ourselves that one day we would live here. We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers, looked with an addict’s longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window.”
―Peter Mayle, A Year in Provence
In Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence, he beautifully describes what it is like to realize a lifelong dream of living in a 200-year old stone farmhouse in the Lubéron. With his witty style of writing, Mayle transports us into the Provençal life that many of us have dreamed of. While some of us have been fortunate enough to realize a portion of the dream by moving to the south of France, my family and I are located a few hours away in the Cote d’Azur, which is a little less country than what Mayle described in his book.
In July, when we take our annual family pilgrimage to Provence to capture and observe life in and around the glorious purple lavender of Valensole, we prefer to spend a few nights or a week in the country to slow down and savor the sights, smells, and flavors that Mayle wrote about. While we don’t have our own 200-year-old farmhouse to stay in, we have found a wine estate with stone structures and paths that date back 2000 years- Domaine des Peyre. An important stronghold in the life of the region for thousands of years, the land once called “bastide” and today “domain,” is home to not only a modern winery, but luxury apartments that are family and dog friendly.
The owner of Domaine des Peyre since 2012, Patricia Alexandre, a former writer and editor herself, no longer writes about wine but makes it. Patricia and her husband spent two years renovating the 18th-century property built on the remains of a Roman villa and have created a unique opportunity that allows guests to comfortably staying in the middle a Provencal wine estate. Guests are encouraged to savor the summer sounds of the cicada, have conversations with the winemakers, and taste the sweetness of Provencal life via their wine: light and fruity rosé typical of Provence, gourmet red produced from Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, and delicate and flowery white wines.
We typically stay in the Grenache loft apartment, which is a spacious 58m2 providing enough room for a small family and offering views out over the vines. The apartment comes with a large bed in the loft that can sleep two adults as well as a convertible sofa on the main floor that can comfortably accommodate two children. The bathroom is tastefully decorated in stone with a large walk-in shower, double washbasin, and toilet. There is also a kitchenette which has a dishwasher, microwave, large fridge, and the all-important Nespresso machine- just remember to bring your own milk.
The apartments are not only surrounded by the vineyard but unique works of art as well as olive and other fruit trees. Overlooking the vines, a beautiful infinity pool is reserved exclusively for guests staying at the apartments who may seek a cool down after a hot day exploring the surrounding villages.
Domaine des Peyre offers guests an affordable glimpse into the Provencal world of Peter Mayle but in a more upscale, luxurious environment where you can live life at your own pace in this magical place filled with history and of course an unlimited supply of the outstanding wines produced here. We look forward to returning to the estate every summer, inviting new friends each time, to explore the local village markets, and of course grab a selfie in the glorious lavender.
For those looking to try the wines, but not spend the night, the Domaine des Peyre cellar welcomes guests for free wine tastings on the property throughout the year and wine can be purchased in the shop on most days. Domaine des Peyre is located near the village of Robion in the epicenter of the Luberon, between Gordes and l’Isle sur la Sorgue, surrounded by the most famous perched villages of Roussillon, Ménerbes, and Lacoste and is less than an hour from Arles, Marseille, Aix en Provence, and Avignon. You can reach the Domaine from Paris in only 3 hours via the TGV train or by driving an hour from the Marseille airport.