We think of Maison Voltaire as a round-the-year house. It isn't just for Mediterranean beaches---although they are just 35 minutes away---or for mountain skiing, which is under an hour away.
This is a glorious time of year at Maison Voltaire. The vines are pushing out the green shoots that will bear next fall's harvest. The vineyards and meadows are filled with wildflowers, rosemary and thyme. The small beach towns are beginning to come to life and the first kayakers, canoeists and rafters can be found testing the waters in the nearby rivers and gorges.
The markets will be filled with the first produce----fresh asparagus, english peas, wild mushrooms and a bewildering array of salad greens.
This is, of course, the high season. Everyone in northern Europe seems to head for the beaches of southern France, but there is room enough for all. The Pyrenees are glorious in summer. Bring your bird guide and wildflower guide and get out on the trails. There are plenty of swimming holes in local rivers within a ten minute drive or short bicycle ride and you can bike off-trail right through the vineyards. Don't forget to drop into a tasting room for a refreshing glass of wine.
It's a great time to be cooking in Roussillon. The local markets are filled with an abundance of vegetables and fruit. Think Mediterranean. That's where you are. This is the time for lunches on the roof terrace, with a few bottles of rose, followed by the obligatory siesta. Don't forget to book for dinner at a nearby restaurant.
The weather stays warm and dry well into the harvest. There may be a few early rains, just to wash the dust off the grapes, but nothing to worry about. Besides, those showers bring out the mushrooms. Yummy! It's another good season for bird watching, as the migrating birds from northern Europe pass through en route to southern Spain and North Africa. Explore the river canyons now as well. The water is a bit low, so you can find hidden pools and caves that are under water most of the year.
If you are feeling especially ambitious, we can also direct you to winegrowers who will let you come into the vineyards and help with the harvest. You can get a tasty preview of the vintage after spending a few mornings in the vineyard. If that seems a little strenuous---believe me, it is hard work---stop in at one of the local wineries and check out the grapes as they come in.
Frankly, winter in Maury is not for everyone as it can get very chilly, as in cold. The rains will come, but not often. The air is brisk and clear There’s time to read that book you always wanted to read---Proust? Dickens? Didion?---or better yet, write that book or that sonnet you always wanted to write. Or maybe just do nothing. Think long, slow thoughts and contemplate the wonder of love.
At the table, it's a splendid time of year. It's the season of game---wild boar, deer, rabbit---and serious mushrooms. Slow simmering stews are in order to match with the deep old vine Grenache and Carignane wines of the area. Come to Maison Voltaire in the winter with someone you love. Things will just get better.
Ask about winter at Maison Voltaire. It isn’t for everyone but we do offer special winter rates.