We headed over to the Var (Département 83) for a hike and a pique-nique with our friends, Christiane, Michel, and Magalie. The morning hike in the hills above Roquebrune-sur-Argens was great. There were colorful wildflowers all around, and very thin, wild asparagus growing out of the ground. You could still see some bright yellow mimosa scattered around here and there. We found the perfect clearing with big flat rocks where we could sit and have our pique-nique. It was shortly after lunch that things went awry. We had been following the blue trail markers which lead us through the scenic route, but somehow, we missed the marker and took off into an unmarked area with no trail. I guess it was a while before we realized our mistake, but, by then it was too late. We ended up in pretty thick woods, wrestling through hanging vines with lots of thistles, and sliding down slippery muddy cliffs. There were a few anxious moments, but, fortunately, the extra hour of sunlight we received today on this first day of << l’heure d’été >> (Daylight Savings Time – a week earlier than the U.S.) gave us enough time to get ourselves back on the right track.
After finishing our challenging hike close to 6:00pm, Michel had the great idea to stop in at one of his and Christiane’s favorite wineries here in the Var. Domaine de Marchandise makes both a red and a rosé Côtes de Provence wine, but the rosé seems to be its specialty. The proprietor spent a lot of time with us while pouring us tastes of his wines. Each of us loaded up on some reds and some rosés, and the proprietor gave us one bottle of rosé that we were instructed to share one evening between the five of us. So, before parting ways, we set a date to reconvene for an apéritif of Domaine de Marchandise 2005 Rosé.