Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chateau La Coste

Add to Google Reader or HomepageThere are so many places to visit in Provence. There are, of course, all of the major attractions listed in the tour guides but there are other sites/locations to discover and enjoy.

During our time in the states, Ellen collects news features from which we can learn more about France. My eldest sister also sends items from the New York Times that she thinks might  interest us.

When Bruce and Judy were visiting from Paris, Ellen pulled out her folder of newspaper clippings and we decided to go to a little village just north of Aix-en-Provence to visit a winery/architectural showcase. The winery is called “Chateau La Coste” and is now owned by Belfast-born Patrick McKillen. In addition to producing some fine wines (big reds, amazing rosés) and olive oil, the owner invited works from internationally-renowned architects including Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and sculptures from Richard Serra and Louise Bourgeois… According to Lanie Goodman in her article in the New York Times Magazine, Sept. 22, 2011, still to come are more structures by Gehry, Oscar Niemeyer, Norman Foster and Renzo Piano. Not mentioned in the article is a mobile by Alexander Calder placed in a reflecting pond just outside of the café on the grounds. There is also a small sculpture that resembles Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate” (the Bean) in Chicago. The bean sprout/flying saucer called “The Drop” was created by Tom Shannon.

"The Drop" by Tom Shannon

Ellen in front of the mobile by Calder

Every aspect of the architecture seems to have been designed for good “feng shui.” The winery, the architecture and the sculptures create a peaceful, welcoming setting.

"The Spider" by Louise Bourgeois

Gehry's Music Pavillion as seen from behind "The Drop"

"Infinity" by Sugimpoto (on the left)

-If readers have other suggestions for day trips, PLEASE add them to “Comments.”


  1. Bonjour!! Did you guys ever do a day trip to Cassis? It is such a gorgeous and quaint little town and I imagine this time of year it would not have too many tourists. Ken and I went there a couple of years ago and spent a few hours wandering around the town and enjoyed a fantastic lunch with fresh Mediterranean seafood.

  2. I take offense at not already being mentioned for having repeatedly sent article from the NY Times and other sources re: Frances and environs for your exploration. But then, I always find some reason to be offended.
    That being said, this looks like a cool place. And thank goodness you captured Ellen and her great smile all with the art work. The best of your world in France.

  3. Thanks for the visit, it looks great!
    Given the temperatures, I can only suggest the interiors of Museums you may already know:
    Avignon and Le Musée des Arts Contemporains de Nice (where we flew over Xmas ) but you'll need more than
    a day to go there and appreciate the visit.

    I 'll give it a second thought.