Pioneering wine tourism, Château de Berne, a quaint hotel in Provence, features a vineyard, a five-star hotel and spa, fine dining, and year round cultural events, making it the go to destination for travelers looking to enjoy the French countryside.
Also on the property is the stunning four bedroom stone villa La Bastide located in the center of the Gomberts olive grove, with a private garden and pool. The property’s Cinq Mondes Spa offers a full menu of face and body treatments, and an oasis to relax and rejuvenate, with an indoor pool, two Jacuzzis, sauna, steam room, and a beautiful patio overlooking the vineyard.
Dining and culinary activities are robust with Le Jardin de Benjamin gourmet restaurant, the namesake of Michelin-starred chef Benjamin Collombat, who incorporates fresh seasonal produce into his menus. A native of Provence who trained with greats Philippe Da Silva and Guy Martin, Collombat was awarded his Michelin star in his first year.
According to the prestigious guide, “Benjamin Collombat didn’t take long to find his marks at this elegant address, with its atmosphere halfway between Provence and Tuscany. His cuisine, tailored to the seasons, magnificently celebrates the Haut-Var regional specialties: garden vegetables, local cheeses, regional wines… And the service is pleasant and attentive.”
For more casual cuisine, visit the Bistrot de la Cave, awarded the Bib Gourmand Michelin, also lead by Chef Benjamin. The hotel also features an elaborate cooking school, traditional cozy bar and relaxing library.
Another highlight was a tour of La Cave that included a private wine tasting at the onsite store.
My travel partner Alien Pictures founder Eileen Tasca and I had the wonderful pleasure to have a guided tour lead by Chef de Cave Alexis Cornu, a true ambassador of the Provencal lifestyle. Cornu’s passion and devotion to the winemaking industry is clear as is his dedication to craft elegant wines that express the spirit of Provence.
Cornu comments, “Everything at Château de Berne contributes to your well-being, including the limestone terroir on which the organic grapes flourish, on the way to meet their destiny as quality wines. Mediterranean grape varieties have everything they need here to ripen, serenely, and much later than along the coast.”
It is this breeding and refinement that Cornu brings out in all of the estate’s red, white and rosé wines.
Tasca describes the property as “an idyllic location to experience the beauty and sensuality of the French countryside. With the many activities offered on site, it is the perfect for celebrating family milestones or as a place to corporate retreats.”
Each July and August, the property hosts Jazz Berne, a festival that hosts some of the world’s top jazz acts, with this year’s headliners, including André Manoukian, China Moses, Thomas Dutronc & Les Esprits Manouches, The Shoeshiners, and Cotton Club by Big Band 13, and many others. The property also hosts many other events throughout the year in the beautiful grounds, featuring an outdoor theatre surrounding a pond.
Château de Berne and its various brands are also establishing a presence on the global film festival circuit as a sponsor of various special events during the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, including the launch party for the new feature “Jungle Cry” and the French Riviera Film Festival for short form content, and recently, HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood, and soon COLCOA, the largest French film festival outside of France, to be held in Los Angeles this September.
Truly looking forward to returning the South of France next year to visit the group’s latest property for the brand Ultimate Provence that recently opened in Saint Tropez. Named simply UP, the modern, stylish property features 34 hotel rooms and apartments, the ATMOS restaurant and bar, all overlooking the vineyard.
Still dreaming of the Riviera! ■
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