Before a trip, people often ask, ” Are you traveling for business or pleasure?”. If your business is pleasure, you go to Monaco.
My recent trip to Monaco was a Monte Carlo stop on a short road trip from the Alpilles region in Provence for a weekend in the Italian Riviera (also, highly pleasurable). The weather in Provence was glorious that morning and we envisioned a late lunch at a seaside café, a flutter around The Principality, maybe a glass of wine before shoving off to Italy before dark.
By the time we’d paid the tolls (bring change) and parked the car (not for the unskilled) the sky had taken on dense grey clouds. Not rain, not unpleasant weather, just not beach weather. We fluttered and window shopped, popped into a hotel to admire the pool, then decided to get that bite to east. We’d missed the window between lunch and dinner so aside from the casino (which likely held the grail to anything we’d ever consider placing across our lips) we settled for a ice cream outside of the casino. Here we could check out the cars, the people and the gorgeous flora planted around the casino.
We didn’t have more than the afternoon there, but because Monaco is small and Monte Carlo is even smaller we were able to get a feel for the atmosphere from walking and driving around, people watching and soaking up the vibe. I was also able to check out a few hotels that are on my list for next time, because in-the-name-of-pleasure I salute the hotels of Monte Carlo. (I’m exploiting L’Occasion to hint-hint my husband, don’t mind me.)
At the Tourism Office we found very helpful people that provided abundant orienting materials. Also, they stamped our passport which delighted us. They encouraged us to get to the Oceanographic Museum and Aquarium which, sadly, we didn’t have time to visit. But it remains on the hint-hint list so I’ll see it another time. The website (link above) features a 360° tour of the facility, according to the website: “Built on the side of the mythical Rock of Monaco, the Oceanographic Museum has been watching over the oceans for over a century. Founded by the Prince Albert I, great grandfather of H.S.H. Prince Albert II, it was designed as a Palace entirely dedicated to Art and Science.”
Above images were all provided by the courtesy of the Monaco Press Centre. Below are our snaps which illustrate the interesting color of the sky and though they aren’t the high quality of the professional pictures, I think they illustrate how much the tone of sea and sun saturates the overall impression of the city. And I have ice cream…
…But you didn’t come to a wine blog for ice cream, you came for wine and by indirect contact with said wine, you came for pleasure, which is also the reason you came to Monaco. Don’t fret, I have the fix.
Château Real d’Or
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Château Real d’Or owner, François LÉTHIER, and Christophe BARCAT, US Service. Château Real d’Or is not in Monaco but over the border in Gonfaron in Provence, France. Château Real d’Or wines are Côtes de Provence and they make a white, red and rosé in their signature line.
They also make a particularly special wine range in partnership with the Principality of Monaco. The rosé called Monaco Monte-Carlo, which I tasted and loved, comes from 40 year old Grenache and Syrah vines that are harvested by hand. It is pale and full of finesse, made for gastronomic pairings. This wine is the personification of pleasure to me, a highly-crafted wine from one of my favorite regions, made to reflect the luxurious and charming style of Monte, Carlo Monaco. This dedicated line also features a red wine, Monaco Le Rocher, from old vine plots of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Monaco La Riviera is made of 100% Rolle and rounds out the trio of Monaco wines.
Château Real d’Or accepts visitors to their state-of-the-art facility; contact them to order wine, plan an visit or to learn more about the vineyards and methods:
SCEA Château Real d’Or Route des Mayons
Tel : 33 (0)4 94 60 00 56
fax : 33 (0) 4 94 60 01 05
mail : email@example.com
Distribution USA States Vins Selections
240 Long Beach Road
Island Park, NY 11558
Tel + 33 612 250 850
Facebook : Chateau Réal D’Or
This post is included in the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge conducted by The Drunken Cyclist. #MWWC24.