Although we’ve blogged about our new house and the settling in process, we haven’t yet said much about the village itself. When we told people we were going to be moving to Taradeau one of the reactions was “oh, the wine!” Taradeau is backed by a small hill, but elsewhere it is surrounded by vineyards and the various Chateaux and Domaines which produce the wines.
These mostly seem to be rosé, a specialty of the region. Les Vignerons de Taradeau is a cooperative based in the village itself, part of the Côtes de Provence AOP (L’appellation d’origine protégée). If you visit their wonderful shop you will find any number of rosés from the local producers, plus a wide selection of specialist olive oils, artisan chutneys and other culinary delights.
Actually Taradeau has been settled since the second century BC, and there are remains of the old fortified camp up on the hill. It was a prosperous town in Roman times, but suffered from repeated invasions from the 9th to the 14th century. So much so that apparently the village was abandoned, leaving only the 12th century watchtower and St Martin’s Chapel, which are landmarks today on the hill above the village. The newer village is near the banks of the river Florièye; the small village square where you’ll find the mayor’s office and the church is just at the bottom of the hill.
We are on the other side of the river, a seven-minute cycle in. But we are above the river, and that was the other thing about Taradeau which people said to us: “Check the flood zone.” In 2010 there were devastating flash floods in Var. Exceptional rainfall (possibly combined with rivers not having been cleared of debris so that water built up behind obstacles before being released in a torrent) changed the course of the Florièye, flooded many houses, and destroyed the foundations of the only bridge. Since then a temporary metal structure, with a one-way system, has made it possible to cross the river. But now, a new bridge is being put in place; the photo below shows the old bridge in process of being removed. While the new bridge is being built, there’s still a one-way system in operation, but the way to cross the river is by a concrete ‘ford’.
There seems to be a lot on offer in the village, with many leisure activities on offer. We haven’t sampled these yet, but we note that the committee which arranges events is active, and though we have passed on the Valentine’s dance, we look forward to the Spring Market, the wine festival, and other such events.