mailbox in French + mailbox photos!
Happy Easter in French

il parait + video interview on French TV

winemaking Jean-Marc Espinasse (c) Kristin Espinasse
Out of the rubble a wine is born!  Jean-Marc gave more than heart and soul when he made his first wine: he gave his blood, his tears, and an alarming number of kilos. I talk about this, and more, in an interview about the organic winemaker on French TV. 

il paraît (eel-pah-ray)

    : it seems, it appears

synonyms: on dit (they say) or  le bruit court (rumor has it)

Example from today's video:

"Alors, son vin?" So how's the wine?
"Il paraît que c'est bon!" I hear it's good! (or Rumor has it it's pretty good!)

Click on the screen below to enjoy the following 

Portrait de Jean-Marc Espinasse pour l'émission... par BrokenArmsCompany
I am sorry not to have a transcript, in English, of this interview. I hope many of you can understand what is being said. I know I had a hard time... which led the interviewer to rephrase a question or two.

Jean-Marc Espinasse (c) Kristin Espinasse

The man who can passionately follow his vision--yet keep his eyes soft enough to see what lives and loves around him--his family, his friends--that is beauty.

Jean-Marc taking time out of whirlwind winemaking - to dance the tango with his mother-in-law, Jules.

Mom was so moved by his gesture that she captured the image forever. "Tango 62" Can you guess what 62 means?

You have captured all our hearts, may yours be bursting today, Jean-Marc, as you celebrate your 46th year. Joyeux Anniversaire!

Jean-Marc with the Arlesiennes (c) Kristin Espinasse
Have fun--but not too much fun!... Untangle yourself from those Arlesiennes and hurry home!

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


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Nan Morrissette

Happy Birthday to dear Jean-Marc!
We are so glad we got to spend some time with you in Houston and can hardly wait to be with you and Kristi on the boat in November. Guess what, I got my beautiful new accordion in Houston, after all! Charles and Princess Martha arranged it, bless their hearts. So when they come over tonight I will play the "Happy Birthday" song on my accordion and we will all lift our voices (and our glasses!) in song. Love from Nan and Tom

ricki comfort

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc! I have only met one other person who shares this birthday with me today and now I know another! A very happy day to us both! I hope you enjoy yours as much as I plan to enjoy mine. I only wish I were celebrating in France somewhere...........
Ricki Comfort



I LOVE YOU WITH SO MUCH DEPTH, AWE AND RESPECT. You came into my life at just the right time. I have tucked deep within my heart so many moments shared with you - moments that no one else but you could have placed there.

If I were to think for a moment of what describes you best I think it would be loyalty. Not only have you stood by me with unwavering support and love - you have been strong enough to bless all who have come into your life with this same strong attribute.

I am so thankful that God placed you in my life - My Son - what more could a Mother ask for.

I love you forever -


Kristin Espinasse

Happy birthday, Ricki!


Happy Birthday Jean-Marc! I hope the next year is as good and fruitful as the last many years. Come home safely to Kristi and your family. Love and hugs, Robin

dana chapeskie

Joyeux Anniversaire Jean-Marc!!!
Hope you have a fun, wine filled year ahead with many blessings!

Bill in St. Paul

Happy birthday, Jean-Marc, it was great seeing you again last Friday at the 128 Cafe wine dinner. Jules, what a great painting of you and Jean-Marc dancing - you even caught his hair in its natural state!

Becky Farley

Happy Birthday Jean- Marc!
Frank and I enjoyed seeing you at the wine tasting in Chicago last week. We look forward to drinking the wine on our annual family summer vacation. Best wishes for your continued success.

Bruce in northwest Connecticut

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc!

Et joyeux belle-anniversaire, Kristin! (Yeah, I just made that up. Why shouldn't there be a birthday-in-law?)

It's so fun to watch that video. Kristin, you look lovely and speak French beautifully. And the last scene is quite funny.

You had a swimming pool at the old place? How did that never get mentioned?

Kristin Espinasse

Bruce, lol birthday-in-law. I love made up words. Re the pool, I missed some good stories there... Like watching the harvesters dangle their legs inside it, grateful for a cool-off at lunch time. Then there was JMs project to finish the pool, by adding a wooden deck. Max once wrote about the frog who lived near the pool. We once found a drowning dog in the pool. JM ... or was it Max... ran down at 6 am to pull the dog out, to safety. Pool stories...

Cheryl in STL

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc! Et brava, Kristin! You handled that inverview very well, especially the quetion about how the wine is. He tutoied you! Is that familiarity common in Provence? My French best friend's wife, whom I've known for 10 years, still vouvoies me and we get along really well. I don't think it's my place to tutoies her first.

Tonya in Arkansas

I've been around and around the site and keep getting to older posts...trying to find the video. Where is the link? I hope
I'm not the only one.. :)

Julie Farrar

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc. Safe travels home. And Jules -- that is the most fabulous painting of a wonderful moment!

Tonya in Arkansas finally appeared! I could not understand the man, but got most of what you said, thankfully. I believe your french is marvelous....especially for me, who can only hear when one speaks a bit lentement!!
Thank you so much for sharing!
And, Happy Birthday to Jean-Marc!! And, thank God he has such good taste, to ask you to marry him!

louis bogue

My Pleasure to wish you another wonderful Birthday, your about half-way home in this great life, may the next half be as good to you as the first has been and thank you for the wonderful memories I carry with me everyday of you and the family I was lucky enough to spend a few days with helping with the harvest. My best to you and yours, always, Lou Bogue. Never miss your blog, Kristin.

Dave Navarrre

Happy birthday, Jean-Marc! Sorry we missed you in DC at the wine dinner. I was sick in bed for a week, so had to cancel. I'm sure it was excellent!


I was unable to view the video - even from the blog. It ran for about 30 seconds and then would not stream further. i was very disappointed not to hear Kristi speak French. BUT bon anniversaire a Jean-Marc quand meme.


Happy Birthday Jean-Marc. Kristin has helped us all love you!


I know you have been thinking about your precious Mom in Marseille today. I know you have that state-of-art phone in your hand right now. Please dial up the florist and send Michele-France the biggest bouquet (sp?) of flowers she has ever received to honor her on this wonderful day....without her....well, you know we would all be traveling through this life without you.



John Senetto

Great video Kristin, don't know how you can keep up when someone is speaking soo fast! That's my problem, listening to fast talkers.
Hilarious when asked how the wine is, I laughed outloud on that. Keep up the great work, without it I wouldn't even come close to understanding a little french, but you were right there, loved it.


Thank you All for your BD wishes. This BD guy is in PDX on its way to the last wine tour visit in Seattle. He has a cold buy he is in great spirit.


Jules, loved your painting! As a tango lover myself, I found it especially appealing! Have you done others with this theme? Would love to see them if you have them on a website. So, it makes me wonder, Kristin, do you and Jean-Marc dance Argentine tango as well :)

Fred Caswell

Jean Marc, you have set a most admirable example for how to be loyal, loving, extremely hard-working risk-taking worker dad, husband, wine grower, wine-maker, and broker. Felicitations, bonne chance, et bonne sante toujours!!!

Bien sur, joyeux anniversaire!



Bon anniversaire, Jean-Marc!
I feel I know you what with all I've read about you, so here's some friendly advice. Take some echinacea and vitamin c with your wine, get lots of rest and feel better. :O)
I hope the rest of your tour is fun and gratifying.
Bonne journée.

Edie Schmidt

Joyeaux anniversaire Jean Marc!

Edie from Savannah

Bill Facker

A very Happy Birthday Jean-Marc, from the other side of the world. I wish you great Health, Wealth, & Happiness in the coming year! Aloha, Bill Facker

Jan in Monument, Colorado

Happy birthday to you, Jean-Marc! Sorry about the cold, but it looks as though the Seattle weather might cooperate for a change. We have family there, so maybe one of these days I'll make it out that way for a wine-tasting since it appears Colorado won't make the itinerary. I was jealous of all the postings from readers who got to attend one. And to JULES, I love the painting--another Frida Kahlo in the making? Perhaps the tango took place on a 62nd birthday celebration, hence the name?

Gwyn Ganjeau

Jules, I love, Love, LOVE the painting!! And I'm guessing the '62' represents the times per minute you are grateful for the day J-M's orbit intersected with Kristins. :)

Bon Anniversaire, Jean-Marc! I look forward to toasting you in person later today here in Seattle!

Kristin Espinasse

Jan, you guessed it: Mom celebrated her 62nd year in that photo.

Cheryl, the reporter was a friend of Jean-Marcs (but I think he would tu other guests, that is just his unique style!)

Dave, sorry to hear you were in bed, sick.

Georgette, please try again. Maybe the video will work later? 

Louis, touched by your note. Thanks--and to everyone taking the time to read these comments or to write one -- merci beaucoup!

French Word-A-Day

Book: Blossoming in Provence: 

Latest video from France/sign up to our channel:

Sarah LaBelle near Chicago

Your answer was far the best one, given you are the wife of the winemaker. One of those questions where the interviewer really wants to hear you say oh it tastes terrible -- and get a little fight going to liven up the interview. Your reply was exactly correct, regardless of you not drinking it.

The video appeared with no problem, except the interviewer speaking way too fast for me, on the web site. Plus the phrase below the video screen opens a new tab with the video from the site of the interviewers. Two chances!

Joyeux anniversaire, Jean-Marc !

Susan Levine, Berkeley, California

Joyeux anniversaire. Any chance you will be traveling to SF or Berkeley after Washington State?

N Vandenberg, San Antonio, Texas

Happy Birthday and a big thank you to your family. Without you and Kristin coming together I would not be able to enjoy this wonderful blog about life in France. Safe travels.


Bon Anniversaire, cher JM! Que cette annee soit le meilleure!!

Patti Bravo, Kristin pour the interview! Bonne Fete de Pacques!

anne wirth

Happy Birthday, Jean Marc! Hoping this year is full of blessings.

Anne Wirth


Happy Birthday, Jean-Marc! I hope you get over your cold quickly! Have a safe trip home to your lovely family!

Bill Facker

Aloha Kristin,

Great blog today on JM's Birthday. What really "stuck" with me was something I thought I'd share. As I watched the video, not understanding one word (even though I've been going to France regularly since discovering "Her" in '67 .. I'm still linguistically challenged .. a great phrase for lazy), I had an "Aha" moment. I've spoken with many close friends over the years about how I feel like two people .. the American and that other person who appears in France. As I watched you in the video, I saw and "felt" the French Kristin and thought "Wow, she is actually enjoying what I have wanted to feel & experience for these many years." What a blessing .. what a gift you are enjoying. Happiness, self confidence, joy of accomplishment in living a unique existence that many Americans aspire to live. Your readers are living this "dream/reality" vicariously through your writings .. that is your special gift to us. Congratulations & Mahalo Kristin Espinasse .. wishing you continued successes in your adopted homeland. Wow!

Your linguistically challenged, and slightly envious friend,

Bill Facker


Bill Facker

AND JULES .. I agree with the others .. GREAT PAINTING! Aloha, Bill


Joyeux Anniversaire Jean Marc - A loving son-in-law is such a precious gift - love the painting of you and Jules - I too have a loving son-in-law who I cherish with all my heart - hope you are having a wonderful day felicitations from Cornwall. Just love your Kristi's blogs they are so inspiringx

Pat Cargill

Happy birthday, J-M, and best wishes for the next year as you make your way to new adventures and discoveries in "le monde du vin." The photo of you in the stained tee shirt is my plus favori de shows how hard you have worked with your treasured vines, and at the same time, your face conveys a sense of quiet joy and peace. Or perhaps sheer exhaustion!

Kristi, thanks for the video, fun to watch.

Kristin Espinasse

Ed and Bill Facker - and to all who mentionned Moms painting -- thank you! It turns out this painting was the unfinished version (poor Mom did not say a word after I posted it. I can only imagine how I would feel if someone posted one of my rough drafts... But her rough draft looks good to me! 

Pat, the picture of JM reminds me of those same things you mention. Well said.

French Word-A-Day

Book: Blossoming in Provence: 

Latest video from France/sign up to our channel:


Our dear Kristi,
What a wonderful post,and wonderful interview!
You are gracious,sincere and absolutely
steal the hearts of your viewers with your charm.
Jules,you are a gifted artist!Your Tango is beautiful,such vibrant colors that we feel happy just looking at it!
Wishing Jean Marc a wonderful birthday and all blessings!
(Kristi, what serendipity to have two people you love share birthdays so close to one another! Could NOT be better reasons to celebrate!)
Love, Natalia XO

Rosalind Mustafa

Bon anniversaire, Jean-Marc. Beaucoup du vin! Aussi, j'adore la peinture de ta mere. C'est formidable, vraiment formidable! tu as dit, dans le video, que tu ne comprends pas la vie d'un homme qui aime du vin commes ses enfants..mais, je penses que oui, tu comprends plus que la plupart des gens du monde!

Carolyn  Dahm,  Sharon, MA

Chere Kristi,

Merci pour le video de l'entretien chez toi. Tu etais si belle et si charmante. It was really difficult to understand but I caught most of what you said. Thank you for speaking slowly for us! I especially loved seeing Braise and Smokey in the background. :)

JM-Joyeux Anniversaire! Hope you have a great time in Seattle. Sleep well tonight and feel better before your return flight. Stay hydrated with lots of water!

Jules-the painting is just beautiful. So glad Kristi shared it with us.

Thinking of all of you throughout the day on this Good Friday. I wish you all a peaceful Easter weekend. I feel so blessed to know you through this blog. Thank you as always for opening the door to your lives and souls and inviting us in to enjoy the feast with you.

Love, Carolyn


Happy Birthday Jean-Marc and may your travels be a huge success and one to Tango about when you arrive back in France. Loved the painting Jules! Precious moments forever captured in mind and time. Great interview Kristin even though I only knew a word or two and sharing JM's passion for the vine - loved the flying wine! And the pool caught my eye and curiosity too.

judi dunn

Joyeux Anniversaire... Jean-Marc! Felicitations sur le video! Kristi, you are so beautiful and definitely charming.... I loved hearing you parlant avec lui. We hope you enjoy a lovely Paques with your loved ones, and Jules painting is one of her very best! Bravo Jules.! a bientot, Judi Dunn , Tallahassee, Fl.

Dianne Lloyd

I very much enjoyed the video but found - like others who've commented, that the speech was far too fast. I watch the news in French here every day and can follow most of that - but they speak slowly and clearly - a distinct advantage!
I love getting my French-word-a-day emails. Thank you for this great resource!
Dianne in Brisbane, Australia

Kathleen from Connecticut

Bon anniversarie Jean-Marc ! What a beautiful painting of Jules and Jean-Marc.
It was great to you speak French in the video. I only wishthat I could speak half as well. I don't have the ear and started to late...Oh well, I still love France and visiting as often as possible. Maybe if I spent a month or two and didn't have anyone with whom to speak English, I might actually get better, but that won't happen,unfortunately.


Happy birthday to have a most magical family! :-)

Cynthia Lewis (Eastern Shore of Maryland)

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc! I hope you are having a pleasant trip here in the USA. Kristin, your French sounded beautiful to me. Happy Easter and best wishes, Cynthia

G & R

Happy Birthday Jean-Marc

We read Kristi's blog daily and learned about your wine tour in the U.S.
We made a special trip to see you at Mt. Tabor Wine in Portland on 28 of March. Love your wine and look forward to buying your new shipment in May. Please come to visit PDX soon!

Gordon and Rona


Tell your mom I thought the painting was beautiful too.

Diane Young

Bonne anniversaire, Jean-Marc. Happy tangoing with Jules again soon. Take care of yourself as your family is eagerly awaiting your return.
(my first comment didn't get posted so excuse this late felicitation.)

Elizabeth Hamilton

Happy Birthday, mate!
Hope the trip to the US is successful. Please come to Australia soon as we are sorely missing some great french rose wines down here.
Best wishes from your Aussie volunteers from the last vending - Liz, Peter and Harry.


Hi, You need to be careful as letting someone use your land free gives them squatters rights far more quickly than in the UK.
If you wish to to let your land used for grazing or any other activity you should charge a peppercorn rent at least..
Good luck.

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