If you have never seen a quince before, you’ll be charmed by it’s pear-like appearance and delighted by the variety of cuisine it can be used in. From tarts to tortes and candy to jelly, this multi-purpose fruit goes a long way here in Provence. It’s Cotignac’s pride and joy and every year the village traditionally celebrates its heritage and harvest in October. This year the festival will took place on the 21st of October and if you missed it, do come back for it next year.
The Cotignac resident music producer Mr Ossy Hoppe generously puts on these super-energised, dance-worthy shows with the showcase band “Five and the Red One” each Summer. This weekend marks their 10th year of putting on these concerts so it’s a big deal!! Opening the starring band is Johnny Gallagher, a singer-guitarist that’ll simply wow you.
The event attracts over 500 people from all over and many visitors came to Cotignac just to see the show. A BIG thank you to Mr Ossy Hoppe who donates his profits from the concert to Cotignac’s local associations and is a very valuable appreciated philanthropist here. He’s also known in the music world as a producer of popular music (rock) and we are very lucky to have his know-how and expertise in our little village, jewel of the Var.
The concert is scheduled for Saturday, the 28th July from 6pm when you can buy German sausages in curry sauce with fries on the Cours Gambetta, just near Mirabeau Wine. You’ll also have a chance to win a signed guitar by the rock bands Toto and Deap Purple (who wouldn’t want that??) by purchasing raffle tickets. But the real action starts from around 8:30pm and goes ’til midnight.
Tip: if you want to find a good parking place nearby, come early.
At the third annual Cotignac Rosé Festival local producers (Nestuby, Caseneuve, Clos la Menardière, and the Vignerons de Cotignac) joined forces with Mirabeau-en-Provence for a sumptuous evening of music, dancing, food, and heaps of the finest rosé wine. The first glass (imprinted in pink with “Cotignac Rosé Festival ’18”) becomes a collectible for just three euros and included a choice of wine. Top ups cost just 2 euros, making this a very reasonable and convenient way to try the crème de la crème of Cotignac’s finest!
The crowd included locals and visitors, wine buffs and council members, and children too. There was a food truck serving burgers and fries, stands with local specialties like pissaladière, and the restaurants served themed menus and cuisine that went well, of course, with rosé. And the now very popular DJ Nick Boot spun out tunes from the 80s and 90s rock, pop, and disco, making the party atmosphere truly memorable.
There were volunteers too, that made the event one that brought out the true spirit of commaraderie and village unity!
The Rosé Festival aims to make the public more aware of the subtleties of fine rosé, a great deal more sophisticated (there really is an art skill devoted to creating them) than the more run of the mill and less refined rosés that are generally consumed by locals for daily consumption in boxes, for example. Provence rosés really are the best and continue to enjoy their popularity currently exploding and being enjoyed by exigent wine lovers all over the world.
For more information on the participants, check out their websites:
Mirabeau-en-Provence (in English and French): www.mirabeauwine.com
Vignerons de Cotignac (in French) : http://www.vigneronsdecotignac.com/
Clos la Minardière (in French): http://lamenardiere.com/
Domaine de Caseneuve (in French): https://www.vigneron-independant.com/domaine-de-caseneuve
L’Ecole du Sens (in French): https://www.terrisse.eu/
Stay tuned to Provence Living on Facebook (www.facebook.com/provenceliving) for information about the next Cotignac Rosé Festival 2019!
Tourtour is set on top of a windy hill (elevation 900 metres) with sweeping views all the way out to Frejus and the Mediterranean with the Mount St Victoire between. The population is just under 500 but the locals are a tight knit group who put on one of the most amazing festivals (fête de l’oeuf or the Egg Festival) over the Easter weekend every year. You’ll find activities for children, live entertainment and restaurants participating with egg-themed menus. There are also food stands if you want to go “cheap and cheerful” with plenty of places to picnic (like next to the church, with a great view). The trees in the village are decorated to the max with colourful, hanging eggs and it’s a really pretty sight.
Tourtour is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France and is well worth a detour when not too cold or windy. The little streets through the village houses are so full of charm and the restaurants serve simple yet freshly made food that of course goes rather well with a nice glass of chilled rosé or anything really. The gastronomic restaurant here is called La Table and the international couple who run it have some very good reviews.
Tourtour is about a 25 minutes’ drive from Cotignac, via either Aups or Villecroze (faster).
It’s the most wonderful time of year, or so the song goes, but the build-up to Christmas in Cotignac is indeed quite special! All the local merchants do their best at decorating their shop fronts and just before the big day there is always an annual Marché de Noël on a Sunday where all the locals and even many people from other villages come to enjoy the free entertainment (music, museums, mulled wine, local delicacies, etc) and this year was exceptional with our warm sun that decided to make dining on the terrace of the Cours Gambetta a real pleasure. We helped ourselves to some soup made by the international association Club 28, at the bottom of the Cours. For just 2 euros we had hot, scrumptious pumpkin soup and/or split pea with lardons (it really was good) home made by one of the association members. Then we bought a bottle of Mirabeau wine and drank it in the sunshine with treats like fresh apple beignets from a nearby stand. Continue reading Cotignac at Christmas time
Cotignac’s first Summer Rosé Festival took place on the 20th of July 2016. It was a typically gorgeous sultry evening and the mix of great rosé, wonderful music (by British DJ Nick Boot), and the beautiful backdrop of the limescale cliffs and Medieval forts made for a memorable evening full of very happy people. Continue reading Cotignac’s first annual Rosé Festival
The very best of Provence’s traditions go on display in a colourful festival over the weekend from the 7th of August until the 9th (Friday – Sunday) 2015.
Here is a programme of events: Friday 7th August 2:30pm Boules competition sponsored by the local SPAR market and the Boules Association (La Boule Fleurie). If you are interested in participating you can register by calling 06 85 03 73 11. Continue reading Cotignac Village Festival “Les Provençales”
Photos from 2013 and 2014 in Cotignac 21st June Fête de la Musique Continue reading Fête de la Musique in Cotignac
The village of Aups is well worth a stop if you are staying in Cotignac. Outdoor markets there take place on Saturdays and Wednesdays in the Summer but the Saturday one is bigger and if you get there early in the morning (before 9am) you’ll get a near-by parking spot and have the best selection of just about everything from fresh produce and clothing, nougat, olives, breads, oils, and of course TRUFFLES. But if you are a truffle fan (like me, Susana), then you’ll want to come back for the annual Truffle Festival in January where you can watch the famous truffle pig effortlessly locate truffles in a matter of seconds. Continue reading Aups, the Truffle Village