Saturday, November 30, 2019

Domaine Tempier, Legendary Wine Estate and Foodie Heaven

I have wanted to visit Domaine Tempier, ever since the first time I read about the Bandol winery owned by the Peyraud family, in books authored by Richard Olney, Alice Waters and Kermit Lynch. Kermit Lynch the renown wine importer, was introduced to the Peyrauds by Richard Olney and has been importing the wines of Domaine Tempier since 1976.

For those who don't know, Alice Waters is executive chef, author of multiple cookbooks, and proprietor of Chez Panisse, a gastronomic temple in Berkeley California for more than 40 year and arguably one of the most famous restaurants in the United States; she is a long time friend of Lulu Peyraud and family.

She was also introduced to the Peyraud family by Richard Olney, a neighbor and friend of the Peyrauds. Richard Olney wrote many wonderful cookbooks including "Simple French Food", "Provence, the Beautiful Cookbook: Authentic Recipes from the Regions of Provence" and "Lulu's Provençal Table" to name a few.

Wines from Bandol including those of Domaine Tempier and Domaine de Terrebrune were on the wine list at Bistro Des Copains, the French country bistro, now closed, I co-owned with friends in Occidental, California. We got these wines from wine importer Kermit Lynch who makes his home in the Bandol region half the year.

As I told you in my last post, we decided to go visit the hilltop village of Le Castellet and taste some Bandol wines including I hoped, the wines of Domaine Tempier. After a Provençal lunch and leisurely walk around Le Castellet, we headed to Domaine Tempier.

We found Domaine Tempier, nearby right below the village, at the foot of Le Castellet. Much to my dismay, while Domaine Tempier is open for tastings, it is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, so we were not able to fulfill my dream of tasting their legendary wines at the estate tasting room.

Domaine Tempier in Bandol AOC

While the wines of Domaine Tempier have been praised by many, including Janis Robinson, a British wine critic, journalist and wine writer and Robert Parker, who famously once declared the Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé, the "greatest rosé in the world", I am attracted to this Domaine just as much, by the stories of family meals served by Lulu Peyraud as described by countless food writers.

Lulu who turned 100 in 2017, was born in Marseille and her cooking is Marseillais, although she doesn't think there is a lot of difference between that and the cooking in Bandol. One of my favorite cookbooks is authored by Richard Olney and is drawn from a series of interviews intended to translate Lulu's words into written recipes, called "Lulu's Provençal Table", published in 1994.

Lulu Peyraud's Provençal Recipes

If you Google "Traditional Food of Provence, there are lots of lists from different publications which show up in the results. All of them it seems, include Bouillabaisse, Ratatouille, Aioli, Tapenade, and several others. For Thanksgiving this year, I made the Tapenade recipe in the "Lulu's Provençal Table" cookbook for one of our appetizers.

Tapenade is a Provençal name for a dish consisting of puréed or finely-chopped olives, capers, and anchovies. Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. It is ubiquitous in the Provence region of France, where it is frequently served as an amuse bouche in restaurants, or with aperitifs, sold in jars in grocery stores or freshly made in farmer's markets.

We love Tapenade and Lulu's recipe is so easy and quick to make, that it seems a shame to not enjoy it freshly made. We serve it with fresh bread, toasted slices of baguettes, or crackers. We served Tapenade as an amuse bouche at every dinner service at Bistro des Copains.


1/2 pound large Greek-style black olives, pitted. The olives I like come in jars with 9.5 oz drained.
4 anchovy fillets
3 Tablespoons capers
1 garlic clove
Small pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon savory leaves, finely chopped. I can't ever find fresh savory, so I substitute fresh thyme
4 Tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for Lulu Peyraud's Tapenade Recipe


In a food processor, reduce the olives, anchovies, capers, garlic, cayenne, herbs, and olive oil to a coarse purée. Process only until the mixture is homogenous.

Tapenade Ingredients in Food Processor

Here is what the Tapenade should look like when it is out of the food processor.

Lulu Peyraud's Tapenade

I know you will find this recipe super easy. It is something you can whip out very quickly if guests drop in unexpectedly. I hope you will enjoy the Tapenade as much as we do. We hope to go back to the Bandol region when we return to Sablet in the spring and this time we will go on a weekday so we can taste at Domaine Tempier.

If you are thinking about a trip to the South of France including spending time in Provence, we invite you to visit our website at Our house is available for rent by the week or more. You can reach us for further information at

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