Fifteen minutes north of the historic city of Aix en Provence, this vineyard will definitely pique your curiosity. The Domaine Vinicole du Château La Coste is a unique mix of contemporary art, architecture, and wine culture. A succulent cocktail for the eyes and the tastebuds.
Across 200 hectares (130 of which are full of grape vines), vineyards, chestnut forests, and olive tree fields spread as far as the eye can see into the Provençal horizon. It's an invitation to take a walk for a veritable symphony of the senses, magnificent enough to have its own name - the Promande Art & Architecture. The path - about a two-hour walk - will take you through a series of artworks and installations from contemporary artists invited to work on site. Just off the path, sitting atop a vast lake, admire the immense spider created by Franco-American artist Louise Bourgeois. Sitting at the top of the hill, next to the chapel created by Tadao Ando, raise your eyes and take in the great red Murano glass cross, imagined by Jean Michel Othonel. The jaw-dropping surprises will lead you to the center of a forest, where you'll find yourself face-to-face with foxes - but don't worry! The creatures are cast in bronze, borne of the talent of American artist Michael Stipe.
It goes without saying that you'll enjoy surprise after surprise on the Promenade Art & Architecture, full of artistic talent. Here, a vibrating bell (Meditation Bell, Paul Matisse, 2012), there, porticos made of steel (Richard Serra, 2008) or electromagnetics (Tunga, 2011). Behind a bush, discover a monolithic cubic pavillion (Tadao Ando, 2008-2011), or a multicolored metallic dividing wall (Liam Gillick, 2010). Contemporary art bows to the wild nature of the Provençal back country.
Tadao Ando, the Japanese Touch
Contemporary art can also be found inside, in the Centre d'Art, a work of art in and of itself by Japanese master artist Tadao Ando. The building is adorned with several features typical of the architect's work (strong geometric lines, framed perspectives, immense bay windows). See the tricks of light played between the smooth concrete walls and calm pools of water.
Franck Ghery and Jean Nouvel, Stars of Architecture
During the guided tour, take in the architecture of the wine cellar, designed by celebrated French architect Jean Nouvel. A remarkable and ultramodern work, built in the shape of a half-cylinder and covered in winding pieces of steel sheet metal. Another grand nom of architecture left his mark on the Château La Cost: the American Frank Gehry (known for his work on the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris and the Musée Guggenheim in Bilbao), the creator of the site's Pavillon de Musique.
Organic Red, White, and Rosé Wines
Once the tour is over, it's time for a little nourishment. All architectural masterpieces, the Restaurant Tadao Ando honors local gourmet cuisine. On the menu: Provençal and Mediterranean dishes accompanied by famous wines from the Château La Cost. Don't forget - the Domaine is, above all, a vineyard.
Welcome to this little corner of red, white, and Rosé wine paradise, all carries of the official Agriculture Biologique label, designating the product's respect for the land and the use of approved methods of wine-making, in harmony with the nature of Provence.
Château La Coste
2750 Route De La Cride
13610 Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade