Nestling in the heart of the Baux-de-Provence Valley under the watchful gaze of the Château des Baux-de-Provence, the history of CastelaS began in 1997 with a case of ‘love at first sight’ for an old olive grove planted on the southern Alpilles slopes in the hamlet of Castelas.
Today, Domaine Castelas produces olives spreading over 45 hectares under Vallée des Baux-de-Provence AOP – protected designation of origin – (including 15 hectares farmed organically) and 65 hectares on the Plaine de Crau (Provence AOC).
After living in the United States for 15 years on the wide-open plains of Arizona, Catherine and Jean-Benoît Hugues decided to go back to their roots, returning to their Provence homeland to devote their energies to their passion: olive growing.
“We have to make do with the seasons, with the wind and with Mother Nature!”
In their profound respect for the landscapes of the Provence AOC and the Vallée des Baux-de-Provence AOP, Catherine and Jean-Benoît Hugues are both olive growers and oil makers.
Fruity, bitter, traditional style or flavoured olive oils, table olives and tapenades are all on offer for a taste journey to the very heart of Provence. It is possible to visit the oil mill in which they extract the oil from intense flavoured olives, the secret ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine. Visitors can also take advantage of the setting to wander around the estate’s olive trees in the centre of the Alpilles regional park before tasting the farm’s olive oils. Master classes in painting and yoga among the olive trees are also organised during the summer.
Virgin or extra virgin olive oil, some of which is all-organic. Oils flavoured with ginger, basil and mint, Espelette pepper or thyme and rosemary… there’s something for everyone. Moulin CastelaS also offers fine food products to serve with aperitif, such as tapenades and green and black olives.
“No one born in Provence can live without the scents of the garrigue scrubland, the gusting Mistral, the sun’s caress and the magic of the olive trees that shaped the local landscape.”
Catherine and Jean-Benoît Hugues, Olive growers at Les Baux-de-Provence.
More information at http://www.castelas.com/huile-olive-baux-provence/fr/home