One evening over a year ago, I was pacing around the property at sundown to discover where the last rays of evening sunshine fell. It was a piece of overgrown scrub land behind the large chai (barn or technically wine warehouse) that we have dubbed ‘the Haçienda’.
In addition to evening sunshine it also promised a great view over the valley to the town of Condom, and on a very clear day, the Pyrenees. A friend of Keri’s who had a house in France told us to “spend money on the outdoor spaces” as that’s where you’ll spend your time in the summer. We demolished the corrugated roofed wine press that you can see on the right of the picture above, as it was an eyesore and no longer had a purpose. The pool was built behind the Haçienda, so when that was dug out we cleared the weeds and bushes. Approaching the newly cleared area from the other side, it was clear that it also revealed a splendid view of the pigeonnier.
The view of the Pyrenees as expected was also quite dramatic. Though mostly we can’t see them and it’s only one day 30 that they are this clear.
We grassed the area and just before we went out this summer we had a plain concrete patio put in. We ordered some outdoor furniture made from recycled wood from Maisons du Monde and added a couple of plants. When Max from across the road came to look he exclaimed “you’ve got a VIP area” and the name stuck. It’s meant to be tongue in cheek but its does feel like a privilege when you end the day there, glass of rosé in hand.