At the heart of Provence, the Chateau Mentone Ferme Auberge by Wilmotte inaugurates a new oenotourism art de vivre in the Var dedicated to the pleasures of nature and oenology.
Chateau Mentone is a pioneer of oenotourism reception in the Var with its new Ferme Auberge refurbished in a contemporary way in its old stones setting by prestigious architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte. The new farmhouse inn is a prelude to the 170-hectare property of forest and vineyards dotted with olive trees and lavender fields. The latest achievement of owner Marie-Pierre Caille, the Ferme Auberge inaugurates a new authentic art de vivre in nature, inviting to sweetness and well-being in a welcoming estate, generous with quality food products – and, of course – with oenological discoveries.
Ten years of patient renovations
After buying the vineyard in 2003, Marie-Pierre Caille engaged in a 10-year renovations of the 4,000 m2 of existing buildings. New and contemporary ideas to awaken the old stones of the “sleeping beauty” and make the property a gem of oenotourism in the heart of Provence. With the Oil Mill, the guest houses, Le Lodge, and Le Sevigné, Chateau Mentone has 7 gîtes and 20 rooms with two pools, a spa and tennis, within a sumptuous nature of lush greenery and tall trees. The Ferme Auberge ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on June 18, 2015, in the presence of Serge Baldecchi, Mayor of Saint Antonin du Var, Wilmotte & Associés‘ architect Henrik Siebenpfeipfer and many personalities.
Judicious blend of ancient and modern
A visit to the Terra Rossa Museum in Salernes, renovated by Wilmotte & Associés, decided Marie-Pierre Caille to call upon the talent of the famous agency. In five minutes, Jean-Michel Wilmotte captured the essence of the old farm in ruins, but steeped in history. He understood Marie-Pierre Caille’s project and instinctively felt the arrangements of the refurbished spaces. The new Ferme Auberge boasts a judicious blend of old stones and modern design, with a nice harmony of noble materials alliances: wood, old oak, steel and terracotta bricks. The openings have respected the original rhythm of the brick vaults, now adorned with a vertical metal siding system. The facade and the roof with old canal tile were renovated identically.
A harmonious architectural graft
Marie-Pierre Caille and Jean-Michel Wilmotte saved the building, its architectural and heritage value and give it a new destiny after 18 months of works. The architectural graft between ancient and contemporary exalts the work of the vineyard, wine and earth’s products, as well as the authentic “savoir-vivre”, friendliness and Epicureanism that are there expressing all their values. The original farm, now a venue in the heart of the estate, is a warm hub radiating towards the various buildings, guesthouses and vineyards on its periphery.
The eco-restoration took into account environmental concerns, and the entire farmhouse inn is heated by a wood boiler – among other insulation standards and materials.
Bring people together around the wine culture
On the ground floor is the reception desk with, on the left, a multipurpose room and on the right, a 20-seat dining room with a large grill open onto the rock the farm inn is leaning onto. Further is a bright area for sale and tasting of wines, that would bring Bacchus himself to do his plentiful libations at Chateau Mentone.
The former stables are now home to a private wine courses room or a “table d’hôtes” for up to 18 people. Upstairs, on the mezzanine protected by an imposing black steel guard rail, are some offices and a superb exhibition hall that is now hosting for the summer the works of painter sculptor Donna.
The parvis welcomes guests outside on a pretty terrace in the shade of old trees, jazzed up with the delicate gurgling of a basin whose water has journeyed from a source facing the cellar.
Southern “méridionales” flavors
In the authentic setting of the Ferme-Auberge, the chef Frédéri Guiol cultivates in his kitchen conviviality, good taste and simplicity for the visitors and hosted tourists. Artisan of a Southern and inventive cuisine, he works with fresh, seasonal and quality products mainly coming from the domain’s orchard, the kitchen garden, the olive grove and hen house. The rest of the products come from local producers and surrounding markets. The Chateau Mentone Ferme-Auberge offers at noon its Formule du Jour at 18 € (Plat du jour + starter or gourmet coffee + a glass of organic Côtes de Provence). Evening is an opportunity for a Degustation Dinner at 36 € (3 dished to choose from the menu + one glass of organic Côtes de Provence each dish) and on Sundays, the Ferme Auberge invites you to discover its Brunch at 18 €. Furthermore, visitors can purchase a special PicNic Box to take away.
Enjoy a bit of Provence
As a starter, Frédéri Guiol features by example a Terrine of Eggplant with Red Pepper mousse and Tomato coulis. As main course, a Cotignac piece of Lamb grilled with Herbs from the Valley and every Friday, the Aïoli. As for the sweet tooth, one can savor an original Lavender Panacotta with seasonal Fruit compote. The dishes are of course accompanied by wines from the estate.
The 32 hectares of vineyard, Chateau Mentone are within the Côtes de Provence area and produce rosé, red and white wines from 7 grape varieties, grown on plots whose average age is 35 years. The production is subject to voluntarily limited yields to promote wines from organic and biodynamic grapes.
Ferme Auberge (reservations recommended)
Open from Tuesday evening to Saturday evening
From 11h00 to 15h00 and from 19h00 to 23h00
Sunday: from 8h30 to 14h00
83510 – Saint Antonin du Var
Tel. : +33 (0)4 94 04 42 00
Wine tasting cellar and sale open all year
Click on pictures to enlarge – ©Bruno Preschesmisky & ©YesICannes.com – All rights reserved.
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