Cucuron Wine Trail
"Sheltered by the slopes of the Grand Luberon, these vast sunny landscapes call for calm. Between vineyards and orchards, we ascend a little. There is a beautiful panorama on the slopes of Mourre Nègre, the countryside of Pays d'Aigues and far to the south, the massif of Sainte-Victoire. The passage of a tractor sends us to the next of the vineyards and invites us to complete this stroll with a small wine tasting, in the cellar of the vine growers of Cucuron. Claims of two conquered visitors.
The Étang PortalMoulin de l'Etang
This is one of the two remaining doors of the fortification of the 16th century. You can still see the locations of the chains of the drawbridge. Also called "Portal of Cabrières" and formerly "Gate of Burlière" in reference to the name of the neighboring district. "Burlière", in Provençal, is the place where people play ball games. To the left, the wash house of the fountain of the pond is one of the 6 wash houses and 8 fountains of Cucuron. These places were where women found themselves and exchanged news of the village.
The AOC Luberon wines for all tastes
Red, white or rosé, winemakers have a large variety of grapes to make their wines; Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault ... Gourmet and flavourful, lively and elegant, harmonious and fragrant, all AOC Luberon wines and its 52 private cellars, 10 winemakers' cooperatives and a union of producers will welcome you and surprise you with wonders! Some of these wines received the "marque Parc" trademark which is awarded when a producer or farmer has integrated sustainable economic and social development of their lands, which marks the completion of a quality approach.
Truffle in the Luberon
The truffle, called "Rabasso" in Provençal, is a fungus that lives on the roots of white and evergreen oaks, and Aleppo pines... It was a peasant from Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt (10km north of Apt) who started truffle production by planting truffle oak trees. In winter, the truffle farmer and truffle dog are in search of the famous "black diamond". The Vaucluse department is all the same the first French producer and Provence produces more than three-quarters of the national production.
The owl, a beneficial animal to vines
Beneficial animals to agriculture and gardening are animals that, by their actions and their eating behavior, offer better growing conditions to a plant. The Little Owl is a small nocturnal bird of prey (about 20cm) which enjoys the mingling of vineyards, meadows and wastelands. They hunt small prey: small rodents, birds and lizards. Also hunting large insects, it protects the vine by its presence by pressuring pests.
Cherry in the Luberon
With the Gard department, the Vaucluse department is the largest producer of table cherries. The "Burlat" and the "Bigarreau" (also known as the Royal Ann cherry) are the most cultivated varieties in the Luberon. You can consume while fresh in summer or enjoy the main speciality of Apt: candied cherry. Apt produces more than 10,000 tons of candied fruits! Many fruits have been preserved there since the 14th century, a true know-how! Today, Apt remains the world capital of candied fruit.
Cucuron, a hilltop village
Like most villages of the Luberon, Cucuron developed in the 11th century around its castle, here on the hillock to the west, where only the vestiges of the dungeon remain today. As of the 13th century, a new church was built to the east and the village then expanded towards it. Proof of these expansions, three city walls coming one after the other over the centuries. From the last one of the 16th century, you can still see a tower and two doors through which one can enter the old village.
Nesting boxes for Athena
The number of cavities decreasing, nesting boxes installation increase nesting areas. The shape and dimensions of the box and entrance hole help in selecting the desired species! In Luberon, over 200 nesting boxes were built for the Little Owl species. Through these boxes the main parameters of its breeding behavior can be studied and monitored. Since their installation in 2005, the number of pairs of owls reproducing there has been increasing.
Old tree, ally of Athene
In the Luberon, the small farm is essential to maintain the Little Owl, especially the old stone sheds because it can nest in their cavities. The conservation and maintenance of these old trees are also essential for the owl. Besides the cavities used for nesting, they provide perches but also many preys (large insects in particular). In summer and winter, watch Athene at safe distance, without disturbing it and using a pair of binoculars!
A plethora of vines??
The landscape, closed by the Luberon to the north is dominated by the village of Cucuron, perched on a hill, a small island built in a plethora of vineyards. Come in the Fall (October) to discover this landscape of "marquetry". The momentum provided by the rows of vines reaches its peak with the fall colors spread out over time and according to the species planted and their alignment, differing depending on the plot.
The olive oil of Provence
Olive oil is the symbol of the Mediterranean diet and is found in many typical dishes. As it is the case with wine, there are so many varieties of olive oils depending on the olive variety, the soil, the know-how of producers and millers, and their origin and particular taste can be recognized by an AOC. Since 2007, there is an AOC that covers the entire region: AOC Provence which reflects the history and ancestral expertise of the area!
A baby bird on the ground ... what to do?
Owls do not build "nests". Thus, the owlets leave quickly to explore the surrounding areas without even knowing how to fly, which is the learning phase. The parents continue to feed them while they are on the ground. Know that if you find an owlet seeming abandoned, it may not necessarily be in danger! Leave it there or put it in a higher place, safe from predators, so they can find their parents who do not lose sight of them!
Athene, bio-indicator species
The Little Owl is called bio-indicator of the ecological quality of agricultural areas as it is very sensitive to intensified practices. If hedges and old trees are destroyed or if large insects on which it abundantly feeds its young are too heavily eliminated by chemical treatments, it disappears. If you are lucky enough, you will see it on a tiled roof or in a tree, and it will stare at you intensely with its golden yellow eyes. Observe without disturbing!
Cave Cooperative Louérion
In 1925, winemakers decided to gather in cooperatives to work together. After several mergers, the cellars of Lourmarin, Cadenet, Lauris and Cucuron created Louérion (name given to the Luberon by the Romans) in 2009. Today the cooperative extends over 950ha of vineyards in 15 towns of Luberon. The cooperative has 150 co-operators who produce about 47,000hl for different names. Some wines are produced in accordance with the specifications of Agriconfiance quality system.
Go up the Pourrières course towards the village. Turn right, along the pond Cucuron and at the end of the square, turn left on the Gabarut road. Continue 100m on the right on chemin du Cagnard.
1- At the exit sign of the village, turn left on a cross road. Cross the D56 and climb across chemin Sourd.
2- At the Y, turn left on the crossing of Gramenon. At the tarmac, take the road to the chemin du Four à chaux on the left. Cross the Dte, sneaking through a small path. Continue descending, cross the D27 (caution!), cross the bank, cross the D182 (caution!) and go right on the path to the tennis courts.
3- Take a right on the boulevard du sud, leave the ark on your right and go up opposite the Rue de l'Enseigne. Continue on rue des Vaureilles. On the Place Jean-Joseph Ferréol, go down the street to reach the small roundabout.
4- Continue in front, along the cemetery and continue on a path. Turn right and continue 800m.
5- At the "Gallon" crossroad, turn right on the road Apt. 200m further, turn right on the trail and follow the vineyards. At the road, turn right, go back to the cemetery (point 3) and continue on the course Saint-Victor to return to the cellar of the vine growers of Cucuron.
Pay attention to the successive crossings of the road after point 2.
It is not recommended in case of high heat; no shady area as soon as you leave the village!
House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park
60, place Jean Jaurès, 84400 Apt
+33 (0)4 90 04 42 00
In the heart the old town centre of Apt, the House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park welcomes you in a town house of the 18th century. The permanent exhibition of the geology museum has a rich collection of fossils evidencing the geological history of the Luberon.
On sale at the shop: books, maps, guidebooks, games, posters...
Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm (and on Saturday, depending on the program). Free admission.
OTI Luberon Sud Tourisme
Le Château - BP 16, 84240 La Tour d'Aigues
+33 (0)4 90 07 50 29
Access and parking
13km north-west of Pertuis, by Ansouis and the D56.
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