Saturday is market day in Pézenas – an event not to be missed. The market combines the laid-back attitude of the Mediterranean, with shopping outdoors in the southern sun, with enjoying all that the area can produce so well: olives, melons, tomatoes, seafood, plus so many other fruits, vegetables and cheese from neighboring regions. Unfortunately the southern sun that we had turned into a monsoon-like thunderstorm while we were there. The boys and I fled to a side street and ducked into an arched stone entrance to a garage to avoid the worst of it. The others were not so easily thrown off their quest. We all eventually retreated back to Uncle Milton & Auntie Sharon’s place in time to watch the downspouts turn into fire hoses which made the narrow streets more like canals. We enjoyed a ‘market lunch’ – which means eating whatever is bought at the market that morning – which basically is all kinds of good.
We then got a tour of their next project – a significant centuries-old ruin not far from their house. Wow – some people really know how to take it easy in retirement.
We went wine-tasting that evening and met up at the winemakers house with some friends from home (home here- not Canada home) who were also spending the long weekend down south and a music prof that taught at the University in the small town that my Dad did 25 years ago. The whole thing felt almost more “it’s a small world” than the Disnelyand ride. The wine is made on the main floor – they live on the floor above. The winemakers are a British couple that left their hectic lives in London as Lawyer & Financier – to move to New Zealand to learn winemaking, then find a vineyard outside of Caux. They now have an amazing production of wine – not in terms of quantity – but quality. (you can find out more about them here) To hear of their personal tending to their vines, the hand-picking, the complete lack or chemical treatment – is quite impressive. But the proof is in the bottle. Pretty nice wine production for a small town that doesn’t even have a traffic light (not that we have one here either..)