Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A visit to a magical distillery in France
The essential distillery, Verdon Roses et Aromes is about 4,000 feet up on a peaceful mountain top in a tiny little hamlet called Les Chauvets.
The drive up from base village, la Palud sur Verdon was a white-knuckle ride. A one-lane, winding road (no guard rail or shoulder) with views so intense we were just about sick to our stomachs.
Once you arrive at Verdon Roses et Aromes, all you sense is clean air, crickets, stillness and dry, hot sun.
The distillery is run by just two very hard-working and endearing souls: Evelyne and Jacky. Jacky and Evelyne distill Lavender, Carrot Seed, Mountain Savory, Thyme ct linalol and Peppermint as well as create herbal oils: Calendula, Yarrow, St. John's Wort, Chamomile and Rose - all with Agriculture Bio standard (Certifed Organic)!
We arrived just in time to see them filling the still with lavender, which they had hand harvested with sickles. It is amazing to see all of the plant material that is filled in the still and yet what little essential oil is yielded - not even a quart (as you'll see in the video).
If you are ever in France and in their neighborhood, ring them before you go - and don't forget your ginger essential oil for the drive!