While looking for somewhere to visit when staying in Aix-en-Provence, France, we came across the nearby Chateau La Coste. The vinyard, owned by Irishman Paddy McKillen, is a wonderful collaboration of art, architecture, a natural landscape, olive groves and vines. The shaded elegant minimalist entrance provided a brief respite from the summer heat before driving between the rows of vines to the hidden car park.
Access to the visitors’ centre is via a concrete staircase to the upper level with glass corridors allowing views to the infinity pool, the gardens and the countryside beyond.
Artists Richard Serra, Andy Goldsworthy, Hirosho Sugimoto, Louise Bourgeois and Paul Matisse have been commissioned to design sculptural pieces for the site, while architect Tadao Ando is responsible for the main buildings, with a performance area designed by Frank Ghery.
The installations are all integrated into the landscape and can be discovered by following a walk around the estate with the aid of a map. Some of the artworks are still being worked on, as can be seen by the bridge builder, and many more are planned for the future.
At the end of the walk we cooled off in the shade of the restaurant next to the shallow infinity pool. A wonderful lunch of locally sourced ingredients and a cooling glass of rosé from the vinyard refreshed the spirits before setting off into the heat haze to drive back to the hotel.