Having visitors is always a good excuse for going exploring. After a wonderful lunch at the beachside restaurant O Sole Mio just north of Banyuls, and a bottle of pale pink rose like only the French produce, we went in search of La Guinelle, the vinaigrerie artisanale.
After winding along the road up in the hills just north of the restaurant, we found our vinegar maker. What a beautiful setting, with vines coming down the mountainside to a little stream. After introductions, Nathalie, the owner and a lady who is passionate about what she does, showed us just how the different vinegars are produced.
The balsamic wines were aged in barrels for five years or longer. These vinegars were combined with the mother vinegar and eventually moved into smaller barrels before they were finally bottled. Each vinegar can be used with different foods.
It was a lovely visit during which we learned a lot about vinegar. The fascinating thing was how the different vinegars did have really different tastes. Needless to say we bought some of La Guinelle's vinegars. What a lovely visit.