Philippe Bru, Directeur Oenologue at Château Vignelaure, talks to me about winemaking.

2015 was a good year. Brilliant clarity and great depth.  Intense bouquets segueing into a well-balanced product with layers of complexity.  A lingering finish, imploring the reader, we hope, to return for more in 2016.  Provence WineZine is still young but we have great promise.  Below are some of the highlights of the year, some of which we’ve written about and others that will be the focus of upcoming articles.

Merci mille fois to all those in the wine business who have welcomed us into their world.  From tiny wine shops to big châteaux, they have regaled us with stories, shared their knowledge of wine, let us taste the fruits of their labors, and left us filled with wonder. PWZ–an elite cast of characters for sure–brings it all to your screens, via pens, keyboards, and cameras,  and  I am immensely grateful to each and everyone for their contributions.  Finally, dear readers, un grand merci to  those of you who actually read our stuff and, if you comment, Bacchus is surely watching over you!!

May the New Year unfold with those who enrich your life, good food and wine, and continued hope for a safe and peaceful world.  Cheers!


The cave at Château Vignelaure


Alain Riviere, Sales Manager at Château d’Esclans, serves Whispering Angel at the “Provence in the City” tasting in New York City, March 2015.


Sacha Lichine, Proprietor of Château d’Esclans, regals Peter Holt, former Wine Director of Anthony’s Pier Four, Philippe Newlin, Director of Bordeaux Negociant DUCLOT/ La Vinicole, et moi.


Château d’Esclans Spring Tasting Supper at Blantyre in Lenox, Massachusetts



Eric Martin, Director of Development at Abbaye de Lérins, talks about wine.


Marc Perrin, General Manager at Château Beaucastel, takes us on a tour of the estate.


Jérôme Pernot, Sales and Marketing Director at Château Léoube, talks about wine.


Michel Brotons, Proprietor of Clos de l’Ours, talks about wine.


Susan Huet, Director of Marketing at Domaine Saint Andrieu, shares her passion for this wine.


Jacques Monod, Export Manager of Terroirs Originels, talks about wine.


Miraval rosé is popular in Lourmarin.


Phillippe Guillanton, Co-Proprietor of Château Margüi, talks about wine.


Matthieu Garcia, Cellar and Export Manager, at Château La Tour de l’Eveque, talks about wine.


Marine Buttignol, Wine Tourism Business Developer at Château de Calavon, pours wine for a tasting.

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W.T. Manfull, PWZ Contributor, is ready to take photographs at Château Vignelaure


Christian leads The Modern Trobadors tour group on a tour of Château d’Esclans.


Bérengère Guenant, Director of Villa Baulieu, and her team welcome Patti Thornton and me.


Villa Baulieu in Rognes, Provence


Clos de l’Ours in Cotignac, Provence.


Pierre Schott, Aureto Cave Manager, discusses wine with The Modern Trobadors Tour Group.


Pamela O’Neill, PWZ contributor, at work.


Jeany Cronk, wife of Stephen Cronk, talks with me about their Mirabeau-en-Provence wines.


David Scott Allen, Editor of  PWZ’s Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food, relaxes after cooking.


Jill Barth, PWZ contributor, tastes some rosé in Provence (for research purposes, of course).

Viktorija Todorovska, author of Provence Food and Wine:   The Art of Living, and Peter Newbury taste rosés from Provence with me.


Jerry Clark (right), PWZ Contributor, toasts with Jacques Navarre at our Viognier tasting.

Viognier Wine Tasting, Chez Manfull




PWZ lost a dedicated member of our staff when our only four-legged staff member d’Angeau passed away this year. We miss his indefatigable, always ready-to-roll, curious nature. R.I.P.


  1. Susan, thank you for this look back on 2015.
    I am so glad I was able to share some of those fabulous wine tastings with you on The Modern Trobadors tour. It was extraordinary to see the passion and love that goes into the winemaking.

  2. Hasn’t it been a wonderful year? I can’t imagine anything more engaging than being a part of the world of winemaking. Writing, reading & tasting bring us nose-to-nose with the greats.

    Thanks for your hard work & thoughtful curating. It’s my pleasure to be a part of PWZ. Enthusiastic & thirsting for more in 2016.


    • Hi Jill, It is such a pleasure to have you as part of Team PWZ! I am envisioning a great year with, as you wrote above, “writing, reading and tasting.” I am going to toot your horn again by telling readers that you just won “The Drunken Cyclist” monthy writing contest! congrats again, Jill!

      • Oh Susan, thanks so much. This year has been such fun and in no small part to you & the Provence WineZine group. All the people in all the right places! Thanks for everything & can’t wait for more!

  3. What a fun year it has been. Cheers to another year of fine wine together! (Sneaky photo of me from below… 🙂

    • I am sneaky when it comes to taking your photo! I happen to really like this one! David, thanks for all you do for PWZ–from photos to cooking, eating, and drinking, to being a sounding board and editing! Such a Renaissance man!

  4. Lovely year in revue. Is there an event scheduled for June 2016?

    • Hi Carol,
      We are indeed leading three tours in 2016–two in June and one in September! Please visit our website for more information (although we are still working on the details) ~ http://www.themoderntrobadors.com/our-provence-tours/ . Feel free to email me or call me with any questions (contact information in the aforementioned link.)
      Thanks for your interest…and thanks for the positive feedback!

  5. It was lovely to ring in the New Year with a Whispering Angel and to continue our tradition of Veuve Clicqout at midnight. Did you know that in 1798 Phillipe Clicquot chose to adorn his cork with an anchor, a symbol of hope? Whispering Angels and hope for the new year. Thank you to those at PWZ and to amazing winemakers for the joy you bring.

    • Let’s hope those Whispering Angels will watch over us all and that hope will lead the way when that Veuve Clicqout cork was popped! I hope you can join us next year on one of the tours! Until then, we have some tasting to do!

  6. Beautiful, Susan. You have done an amazing job on this site, and put in a phnomenal amount of love and labor, since its inception. I’m proud to be a small part of it. And thank you for including d’Agneau. He was a truly intrepid snoop!

    • You are an integral part of PWZ! Thank you for all that you have done. Gorgeous photos and wonderful article on Chateau Leoube! Onward and upward!

      • and, I must add that PWZ would just not be possible without contributions from everyone. I am grateful to all!

  7. A year packed full of firsts such as The ModernTrobadors’ first annual tour of Provence concentrating on the wines, markets, lavender and so much more that included new friendships, meals and the French custom of lingering over them and the added surprise of my first truffle hunt. The tour was special from the beginning to the end. These pictures allow the memories to swirl in one’s mind like wine in a glass taking one back or prompting thoughts of the next visit. Thank you for the beautiful collection, “Through the Lens of my Wine Glass

    • Aw, Patti, I love the image of “memories swirling in one’s mind like wine in a glass.” sometimes, everything just works…well, okay, there was the Taxi strike against Uber in Marseille!

  8. Love the #WinesofProvence year in review!

    • Thanks, Carolyne. Hope you saw The Modern Trobadors review, where you are pictured as publisher of the super, multifaceted blog, Perfectly Provence! Thanks for your kind feedback, as always!

  9. Our occasions to drink and reflect upon wine together, both here and in Provence, has been wonderful. But being a part of your contributing regulars tops that by many degrees. Onward and upward in 2016!

  10. Jerry, Tasting and reflecting upon the wines we have shared has both widened and deepened my knowledge of wine and what fun getting there! Thinking of Alexis Lichine, let’s always carry cork screws! Onward and upward!

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