One of the great (and surprisingly remote) wonders of Provence is Chateau La Coste, a 600-acre vineyard in the tiny town of Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, 25 miles north of Aix-en-Provence. The vineyard is owned by Patrick McKillen, an Irish art collector who has converted it into a centre dedicated to “Wine, Art & Architecture”. McKillen invited Tadao Andō to design an art centre in which to exhibit modern art, while Jean Nouvel conceived the winery. He also offered a choice of sites to artists for their outdoor sculptures.
The buildings are stunningly beautiful and the paths throughout the property reveal magnificent sculptures by dozens of artists including Alexander Calder, Andy Goldsworthy, Frank Gehry, Richard Serra, and Ai Wei Wei.
When I visited this summer, the main gallery featured a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibit. In addition, adjunct separate buildings displayed installation art and photography.
In summer, you can eat outside at a garden café or in the gourmet restaurant, then attend concerts, film festivals and dance performances. Or stay overnight and linger a little longer on the property at the beautiful onsite hotel, Villa La Coste.
While the restaurant and the hotel on the property are expensive, it costs only 15 euros to walk the property and visit the museum. As the Michelin Guide would put it, Chateau La Coste is “vaut le voyage.”
2750, route de la cride, 13610 Le Puy Ste Réparade
Tel: +33 (0)4 42 61 92 92
Email: [email protected]
Restaurant Mallmann at the Château La Coste