Mary’s French Wine-Making Adventure – Featured on Best of France

This post is featured on Best of France, website of the major Times Square event in celebration of New York City. Attend the event on September 26-27. Highlights include Moulin Rouge appearing for the first time in New York in over a century.

I believe that places from our past hold memories like little ships in a bottle. Can you remember a specific location where the spirit of your inner child still soars? Mine is Ramatuelle, a village in the South of France.

My best friend moved to Paris when we were in high school, so naturally, I had to visit her. After a week in Paris, both of our families drove to Ramatuelle, a charming medieval town bordered by the Mediterranean on one side and hills scattered with cyprus trees on the other. The house we rented was majestic, and it quickly became home. Throughout the week, we got used to eating fresh olives from the local market, tasting Syrahs at late dinners and roaming free throughout the arid landscape.


One day, we discovered a hidden vineyard near our house. We thought it would be a hilarious idea to “make our own wine.” And that we did. Scroll down to see the play-by-play of my wine-making adventure. Note: I had to dig through many deeply embarrassing photos from 2007 to find these deeply embarrassing ones…so enjoy.

First, we locate the vineyard.


Next, I pick the grapes (just a few!)


Of course, my friend finds the perfect bowl for grape-stomping…

grapes bowl

…and we make the magic happen.


Ta-da! Magnifique! (Or not).


No, we didn’t grow up to be professional wine makers. In fact, I’m not quite sure I am grown up yet at all. Nonetheless, Ramatuelle is that place where I can go back to in my mind at any time, and the memories of the beauty of the area, and my childhood silliness still retain all their glory.

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