I am always in search of olive oil when I am in France and usually haul home several. This past trip was no different. Two of the oils I bought were purchased at an outdoor market. One was purchased in Malaucene and the other in Carpentras. Our friends Maria and Dieter have spoken often of their favorite olive oil that is produced in France near the charming Provencal village of Maussanes Les Alpilles. Since Maussanes was on our way to Arles, where we spent our last night in France before returning to Germany, we naturally planned a stop to visit the mill and salesroom where the oil is produced and sold.
Once you reach Moulin Mas Des Barres, you drive through the grove of olive trees...
until you reach the buildings that house the mill, salesroom, commercial kitchen and dining room. I peeked into the kitchen where they were assembling desserts. We were told that Mas Des Barres prepares lunch for tours of 30 or more people.
I would have been very happy sitting at this table with a French baguette and a glass of wine.
The cafe table and chairs were covered by a canopy of fig trees.
There was a charming salesroom (I could find a place for that cupboard somewhere in my house!)...
that sold regional food items...
soaps in the shape of olives...
Owner/manager Rene Ouenin spoke with us (or I should say my daughter, since he spoke no English) about this area of Provence. His home is right next door. I tried to imagine what it would be like waking up every morning on this incredible property. He seemed very proud and rightly so. If you're driving through the Alpilles between St. Remy de Provence and Marseilles, I urge you to take the small backroads through the mountains and explore this special area of France.