Autumn is a fabulous time to visit Provence, bright sunny skies and cooler weather, no crowds, just quite country roads leading to gorgeous vistas and beautiful fall colors. You can experience the olive harvest first hand or just observe and taste the fruits of lots of hard labor – in a place where it is still something essential to the rhythms of life, local culture and an important livelihood. The olive harvest in Provence is something quite special, it represents an age old tradition, with most still harvesting the olives by hand; a small group of famers committed to keeping that tradition alive. Olive production in France remains a fraction of that in the rest of Europe, but for those few producers who continue it remains a true passion. The quality of the oil is second to none, and almost all organic. Just seeing the trees laden with ripe green and black olives is a sight to behold. The weather can be stunning, as it has been this year, sunny and crisp, not too cold. Perfect for working outdoors, hiking, or meandering throught the olive orchards.
There are many olive harvesting parties on local farms. It’s great fun to partake in the picking and enjoy a hearty Provencal home cooked meal afterwards as a reward.
Join me for an excursion to an olive farm for an olive oil tasting, experience the harvesting first hand, and visit a mill to learn all about the production. At Mas du Pastres, a farm in the Southern Luberon area, Lisa and Johann Pepin will host us as their honored guests; inviting you to participate in the olive harvest and a wonderful apero afterwards – wine, charcuterie and olives of course!
Looking for other ideas of what to do in Provence in November see my article on Gathering friends and family in Provence for the holidays.
Author: Jane Satow