An azure façade flanked by an imposing UP – the contraction of Ultimate Provence – sets the tone! The latest Côtes-de-Provence vineyard blows the cobwebs and clichés aside, breathing modernity into the conventions of wine tourism. Both a vineyard, with its cellar opening onto the shop, and a rooftoop restaurant, but also a boutique hotel and venue for concerts and DJ sets in the summer, UP embodies a vibrant renewal in vineyard life, opening up to a new generation of oenophiles.
A cry of surprise !
At the end of a track that waltzes to the left on the road from the Plaine des Maures to the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, UP is a vineyard apart. As soon as one enters, the view confirms this. The entry space and shop is monumental-pyramids of stylized bottles, walls of barrels, all kinds of accessories bring amazed gasps from first-time visitors (those who have visited the vineyards of Napa Valley in California will notice some well-inspired similarities). To the left, the spectacle continues. The glass doors lead to an ultramodern stainless steel winery. To the right, one finds a cosy wine tasting bar with a mezzanine. Here, the three wines of the 46 hectare estate (currently converting to organic agriculture) are served. The UP Rosé, an award-winner at the Concours Général Agricole in Paris – is the vineyard’s star item. It is found notably in a cocktail recipe, the Unsuspected, mixed with cranberry juice, lemon, black pepper, vermouth and basil.
A place to be, in the middle of nowhere
It was the architects Humbert and Poyet that led the renovation of the site. They have defined spacious volumes, carefully considered the views on the surrounding nature, opted for warm lighting and blended concrete, wood, marble and leather. All the cherished codes of interior hipness are nicely interpreted. At the heart of the estate lies the terrace of the ATMOS restaurant, the summer spot for live sets and Rosé UP cocktails. On the menu, an international street food cuisine centred on sushi and sashimi, tartar and carpaccio, truffle toasts and the like… a kind of dream menu with a purist flavour.
A boutique hotel offering comfort and style
Separate from the building dedicated to wine-tasting, partying and dining, the estate’s accommodation is no less contemporary: a boutique hotel-residence of 23 rooms, six studios and five apartments. Each room blends the codes of design and vintage in a luminous, delicate ensemble. Technology is present too, as you’ll need to scan a QR code to enter your room! Private terraces and a common swimming pool share the exterior space, where films are also screened in summertime.
By now you’ll have got the point: UP is a 360 ° destination and a kind of UFO in the Provençal landscape. Don’t hesitate, go and check it out. This haunt of foreigners and trendy couples is a stunning reinterpretation of wine etiquette. An unforgettable experience!
From 140 € for a double room.
7270 Route du Luc
83680 La Garde-Freinet
Tel. 04 94 85 29 10