An American Provence by Thomas P. Huber

By Thomas P. Huber

I've got noted luscious wines and succulent fruit and beautiful dinners. yet there is not more evocative adventure of the 2 valleys than the odor of new-mown hay within the fields at nightfall. If anyone have been to shut their eyes, they can now not inform in the event that they have been in Provence or the North Fork Valley. That candy, earthy smell is a part of the great thing about those areas.

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The only significant difference to me is the gastronomic advantage in Colorado of being able to gather and eat the piñon nuts—a staple of southwestern cuisine and a major food source for locals over the last few hundred years. Unfortunately, the piñons are under siege during this climate-stressed period. The ips beetle has killed or weakened millions of piñon trees in the US Southwest. So far only a few trees in the North Fork have been affected, but the drier-thannormal conditions over the last decade have made them vulnerable to the ips and other pathogens.

29 Places This is the case in part because in most wine appellations in France, strict wine production rules prohibit the irrigation of grapevines. This ensures a “natural” product and probably also ensures ulcers for the viticulturalist. In the Côtes du Luberon appellation, however, because of the vagaries of climate, grape growers can irrigate until Bastille Day ( July 14). This date appears to have been chosen more for symbolism than as a result of any careful climate analysis. Nonetheless, irrigation is an acceptable practice here as opposed to many other appellations in France.

The Coulon, on the other hand, is on the much smaller European continent and is dramatically affected by large water bodies, specifically the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and—more important in this case—by the North Atlantic Drift. This drift is an extension of the Gulf Stream arising in the warm Gulf of Mexico and flowing northeast through the North Atlantic. It literally brings warmth and much more moderate climates to the entire western side of Europe, including much of France. In spite of the latitudinal disparities, the valley-mountain topography is very much the same in both places, yet it also has considerable differences—like two diamonds made from the same 34 The Land carbon but with unique facets.

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