calanque & bilingual post, by Jean-Marc



Only 5 years ago we were renovating a 350-year-old farmhouse and beginning to care for a vineyard in Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes. Then, last August 30th we moved... only to begin again! Our new home is already cozy—no major work to be done. Jean-Marc will begin planting his dream vines in 2013. Read on, in a letter from Ex Chief Grape.  (Photo taken in 2007, after realizing his first mis-en-bouteille, story here.) 

 la raison (ray-zon)

    : reason (there many senses of the word, see examples below)

la raison d'être = literally "reason for being"
avoir ses raisons = to have one's reasons
pour une raison ou pour une autre = for one reason or another
perdre la raison = to lose one's mind
raisonné(e) (adj) = wise
raisonner = to reason with
avoir raison = to be right 
pour des raisons médicales ou religieuses = medical or religious reasons
raison de plus! = just one more reason! (to do/not do something)

To add a term or expression to this list, click here and share it with us here in the comments box. Thanks! 

 * A Letter From Ex Chief Grape *

Note, the following letter, in French and in English, has been speedily translated. Feel free to offer corrections, here in the comments box. Thanks so much! P.S. photo captions are by Kristin.

Chers amis,
Dear friends, 

Un mois après avoir déménagé dans la région de Bandol, je voudrais vous donner les raisons qui nous ont poussé à changer notre merveilleux quotidien de Sainte Cécile les Vignes.
One month after moving to the Bandol area, I would like to give you the reasons that pushed us to change our marvelous Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes daily life.
Il faut que vous sachiez que mon premier choix d'installation viticole a toujours été d'être dans cette région de Bandol. En 1999 et en 2004 j'ai essayé d'acquérir des vignes, sans succès... Le choix de s'installer en 2006 à Sainte Cécile les Vignes pour créer le Domaine Rouge-Bleu n'a pas été un choix par dépit mais un vrai choix de cœur.
What you should know is that my first choice for a vineyard set-up has always been to be in this region of Bandol.  In 1999 and 2004 I tried to aquire some vines, without success.... The choice to settle, in 2006, in Sainte Cécile-les-Vignes, to create Domaine Rouge-Bleu, was not due to a lack of a better choice,  but to a "following of the heart".

Néanmoins je n'ai jamais perdu à l'esprit mon choix originel. Amoureux de toujours des vins de Bandol et du Mourvèdre, je suis également un homme qui aime profondément la Mer et cela explique en très grande partie mon choix.

However, my heart never forgot my original choice. Having always been in love with Bandol wines, and Mourvèdre , I am equally a man who loves the sea and this explains the greater part of my choice [for moving].
Capture plein écran 03102012 103815
Whoever forgot their orange shorts at our place.. is now having an "aha" moment! --Kristin
En dehors de ces raisons de fonds, je dois avouer que j'avais besoin de souffler un peu après 6 intenses années à gérer entièrement (et tout seul) 9 Ha de vignes tout en vendant, depuis notre tout premier millésime, la totalité de notre production en bouteilles
Apart from these basic reasons, I must admit that I've needed to take a breather after 6 intensive years running a 9 hectare vineyard entirely on my own, all the while selling, since our first vintage, the entire production in bottles.
Vendange 2007
Jean-Marc, at his own first harvest. He looks like he's gone through the wine press, and he may have felt that way, too! I've never seen him work so hard.

Le fait d'avoir trouvé de merveilleux partenaires (Caroline et Thomas) qui vont continuer à développer notre "bébé" est fantastique. Aujourd'hui, ce n'est plus une seule personne mais trois forces vives qui s'occupent de notre vignoble, où Kristi et moi avons gardé une participation financière et ou j'espère bien rester le plus actif possible, notamment dans la distribution à l'export
The fact that two wonderful partners (Caroline and Thomas), who will continue to devolop our "baby", have been found is fantastic. Today, it is no longer one person alone, but three live forces who take care of our vineyard, where Kristi and I have kept a small part, financially, and where I hope to stay as active as possible, notably in wine distribution and export.
Capture plein écran 03102012 105632
Thomas, Caroline, and Jean-Marc. I just swiped this photo from Caroline and Thomas's FB page... Look up "Domaine Rouge-Bleu on Facebook or click on "three live forces" in the paragraph above. --Kristin

Enfin et accessoirement, même si notre vue fantastique sur les Dentelles de Montmirail et le Mont Ventoux étaient une vrai source de bonheur visuel, le climat et le Mistral ont participé, à moindre mesure, à mon désir de changement.
Finally, and as a side note, even if our fantastic view of the Dentelles de Montmirail and le Mont Ventoux was a true source of visual happiness, the climate and the Mistral wind participated, just a little, toward my desire for a change.
Mmanm's photo's 151

Les vendanges 2012 sont maintenant finies à Domaine Rouge-Bleu. Toute l'équipe de vendangeurs dont j'ai eu l'honneur de faire partie a fait un travail fantastique.  Les vins que Caroline élabore sont dans le même esprit que ceux que nous avons fait dans le passé. Nous vous remercions pour votre soutien, qui plus que jamais maintenant, est très important pour nous.
The 2012 harvest is now finished at Domaine Rouge-Bleu. The whole harvest team, which I had the honnor of being a part of, did a fantastic job. The wines that Caroline is making are in the same spirit of those we made in the past. We thank you for your support that is, now more than ever, so important to us.
Jacques morin kristi caroline
Picture of Kristin and Caroline taken by Jacques Morin

Home now, near Bandol! Jean-Marc, back from the calanque, where he hunted a few sea urchins. He is using scissors to open them.

Quant à la famille Espinasse, elle s'installe avec joie dans cette merveilleuse région où j'espère produire mon premier millésime en 2013.
As for the Espinasse family, they are settling, with joy, into this marvelous region where I hope to produce my first vintage in 2013.
Ex Chief Grape
. .
A new sight for us--so different from all those tractors—would be all the surfers! 

 Jean-Marc arranges rose on a bed of oursins / sea urchins (c) Kristin Espinasse

Jean-Marc, back from hunting for oursins, or sea urchins. Read the story, here, and learn about one of "Chief Oursin's" favorite pasttimes! 

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety