A 6 Kilometer hike through the vines winding in the valley of Pic Saint Loup and Causse de l'Hortus while tasting the incredible wines produced from the very vines that surround the paths while noshing on a menu created to show off the complex flavors of these wines...a perfect way to spend our Sunday!! This balade is in one of the most perfect spots on earth. The topography, the vineyards, the roughness of the garrigue and rocky soils all come together to create a perfect ecosystem.
We were SO lucky (thanks to our companion, Christine, who could not hike on the Saturday) as Saturday's hikers were subjected to a day full of downpours and horrible weather. Sunday gave us sunshine and breezes in the morning for our 10h30 start before the clouds began to blow in.
These balades are not for the faint of heart. We climbed steep hills aided by ropes added AFTER Saturday's downpour (those poor poor souls that hiked on Saturday!!!) then descended treacherous muddy paths that were being improved with cut-ins as steps as we hiked by. You definitely work hard to get to the amazing food and wine that awaited us at each stop.
Just as we arrived to the Plat Chaude, the heavens opened up and the torrential rain and HAIL started. But what a wonderful stop to wait the weather out!! The wines included an amazing 2010 Domaine de l'Hortus Grande Cuvée Rouge that elicited sighs of immense appreciation from all. As Mother Nature entertained us with a lightning show complete with deep resounding thunder, w e were able to sit and savor the incredible smokiness of a chunk of Pata Negra slow grilled to absolute perfection leaving all of us wanting to search out a purveyor for our next gourmet grilling.
And the heavens opened up!!!