au grand coeur

pecheur & the big news revealed!

Toc toc (c) Kristin Espinasse
I have never seen a multi-colored Fatima before. The rainbow-coated hand tickles a sluggish passer-by, Reveille-toi! Reveille-toi! Wake up! Wake up and paint the town! (Picture taken on the Ile de Ré. Watch out for the cougars.)

Today's word is le pecheur, after the mention in Jean-Marc's letter, just below. Read it in French or in English, and listen to the recorded letter: Download MP3 or Download Wav file

le pêcheur (pesh-er)

   : fisherman 

 Finally, the news!

Chers amis, Dear friends,

Après 5 années de grande intensité, nous avons décidé d'ouvrir une nouvelle porte de notre vie familiale. Nous venons tout juste de nous installer au bord de la Mer Méditerranée, à proximité du village de pêcheurs de Bandol. After 5 very intense years, we have decided to open a new door in our family life. We have just settled beside the Mediterranean seashore, close to the fishermen's village of Bandol.

Bien entendu, cela peut sembler étonnant de quitter notre vignoble de coeur mais nous avons suivi notre instinct qui nous mène vers la mer. Nous resterons néanmoins très liés au Domaine Rouge-Bleu et je continuerai à en assurer une partie de la distribution. Of course, this may seem surprising to leave our cherished vineyard, but we have followed our instinct which leads us to the sea. We will remain, however, very tied to Domaine Rouge-Bleu and I will continue to ensure a part of its distribution.

Bienvenue à Caroline et Thomas à qui nous passons maintenant le témoin. Je détaillerai dans une future édition les raisons qui nous ont poussés à ce changement majeur de notre vie. Caroline et Thomas se présenteront à vous tout prochainement. A big welcome to Caroline and Thomas to whom we now pass the baton. I will give more details, in a future post, about the reasons that pushed us towards this major change in our life. Caroline and Thomas will introduce themselves to you very soon (in an upcoming post).

Entre temps, les vignettes de Kristi prennent une petite pause mais, rassurez-vous, elles reviendront très vite avec l'air marin... Meantime, Kristi's vignettes will take a little break but, rest assured, they'll be back quickly, with the sea breeze.

Nous vous remercions pour tous vos messages de soutien. We thank you for your messages of support.

Jean-Marc & Kristi


Hollyhocks and door knocks (c) Kristin Espinasse
Some people are so creative.

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A huge change! (And suddenly the Ile de Re post makes more sense...) Can't wait to hear the details. Much luck to you all.

Rose Chandler Johnson

Life is full of wonderful surprises. How very exciting! Yes, a big change, but you've laid the groundwork and I think it will be a great adventure. How exciting! And, I must tell you. My French cousine, Ghislaine, has a wonderful appartment in Bandol. My daughter and I stayed there with her and her gracious husband, Jacques, for two weeks in 2005. What a beautiful region! Les Calangues, Bandol, and all along the coast is a wonderful area. :-) I'm excited for you! Maybe we can meet there someday.

Rosemary Deshaies

Living near the sea is such a treat-- Félicitations!

Look forward to hearing more about this big change and your new adventures.

Suzanne, Monroe Twp., NJ

Another chapter begins for the Espinasse Family. I look forward to photos and stories about your new home. I have enjoyed being with you and JM each time I have visited Domaine Rouge-Bleu and look forward to seeing you in the future.

Tres bisous!

Christine Dashper

Fantastic! Bon chance to you all. Very exciting!

Petites Merveilles

Wow! How exciting! I've been following (quietly) for some time now and I'm looking forward to hearing about your new adventures, near the sea.

Diana Porter

Wow! That IS a big change!

Sue J.

meet you in Draguignan(halfway)next time we are in Nice, mon amie. Best wishes to everyone on this move.

Shannon Pacheco

Awesome!! I can't wait to see what new stories and adventures this move brings!! Congratulations on the new place and cheers to living the life you want!

"The only constant is change." - Albert Einstein


Congratulations! We all look forward to so many new stories...and of course pictures of the two furry ones!

Bill Facker


Ann Mah

I'm brimming over with happiness for you. May your life in Bandol be very sweet! xoxo

Kathy, Sacramento

Meilleurs voeux!

John Carr

Bon courage Kristin!

Geraldine Ventura

We were looking forward to wine tasting with you when we come to Provence in October. And, also meeting you both Good luck.
Gerry Ventura

[email protected]


It is no wonder you were feeling a lot of stress. A move is a big thing. I think it will be good for you all. I am glad to hear that you will take a break for yourself and look forward to your new tales when you return to your writing. Congrats and take care.


Time for a change, and this sounds wonderful. Bon chance, mes amis!


All best wishes to you in your new location and new endeavors!

I will look forward to future posts from another beautiful area of France.



Blessings to you and your new home. Change is always a leap of faith and usually a new opportunity to grow into this life. I look forward to your new stories.

Marika Ujvari

What was the reason for the big move?Another vineyard? If not, what will Jean-Marc do?

Julie F in St. Louis, MO

Of all the guesses I made, this was not in the cards. How exciting. I can't wait to read of your new adventures. However, it upsets my plans (she writes with a selfish pout). I was returning to France in at the end of October and thought I might finally get to Provence to see your gardens, dogs, etc. Don't know if I'll have time to head all the way to le mer, but I look forward to trying another time. Just think of all the new subjects for photos you'll find. Felicitations!


My very best wishes to you and your family as you begin this new adventure! Looking forward to your posts when they resume.

Gwyn Ganjeau

Oh my gosh, Kristin, you are going to be brimming with new stories!! It's more than a new chapter in you life--it's a new book!

I just love it when people say 'yes' to life. how inspiring. i'm in the throes of an unexpected move myself, and it took me being excited about YOUR new adventures to make me see the thrill and excitement in MY new adventures. i'd gotten tangled in the messy, uncertain, challenging logistics of it--but you helped me look up. you've given me a gift.


The OCEAN!! Yes... so happy for you!

Karen Whitcome

I knew it!!! Wonderful news, Chief, uhhhh, Fisherman!! Keep us posted!


Fantastic and good for you! I admire your spirit of adventure. Bonne Chance!


Does JeanMarc have his sea urchin harvesting fork at the ready? I remember he loved fishing for them when you went to the seashore in the past.

Lorrie Kazan

Wow. Wishing you much happiness and an easy transition.

I've always loved living at the beach; though right now, it's hot and humid, even here by the sea in Los Angeles.

Dave Kapsiak

Many happy days in your new home

Marie La Salle

Bonne Chance et bon courage. Life is full of cycles. Those who don't follow their dreams live a life of regret.
You four are brave in all senses of the word!


Oh my goodness--I just looked up pictures of Bandol on-line. It's exquisite! I would move there too. Such a perfect setting for a new book!


Life is short-grab hold and follow your heart. Good luck, Kristin and Jean-Marc and children.

Marie La Salle

P.S. Actually I figured you were pregnant.

edith schmidt


Bandol est tres picturesque!
C'est aussi une region bien conu pour les vins rouge.
bonne chance,
Edie from Savannah

Cynthia Lewis in Salisbury, Eastern Shore of Maryland

Wonderful and exciting news! Many of us were right in thinking your surprise had to do with a home beside the sea. For Jean-Marc, it will be like "going home". The weather will be much milder and your flowers will flourish. With best wishes for each of you, Cynthia

mimi taylor aka cigalechanta

Wow! What a surprise. I thought you were in love with your vineyard. But Changes are good while still young enough. I miss having sea urchins here eating out of their shells but luckily the Bandol roses are here.
Bon Chance also looking forward to photos of your new home.

judi Dunn

Kristin!!! en famille!! OMG!! as we say in the States! What a wonderful new adventure will begin for all of you...we moved 18 times ( all over the world) in 50 years of marriage with 2 children... and loved every new adventure... Looking back now, I would not have changed a thing! Best wishes and bonne chance! Judi from Tallahassee

Gabrielle Tsabag

Congratulations, Kristin, to you and your family! A new chapter in your lives ... new challenges ... new friends ... new experiences to add to the "old". May everyday fill you with joy as you fill our email boxes with smiles!


That's wonderful Kristin!
Bonne chance a vous et votre famille!

~ Dana

Susan Ferrari Seligman

I send my very best wishes for a happy new life in Bandol, many new and good things and most of all for ***good health.***

With regards to you all, children, dogs, etc.
Fondly, Susan

Pamela Collins

The very best of luck in your new home. Living near the sea is special. Enjoy it. Love and kisses xxx

Susan Ferrari Seligman

P.S. I meant to say thank you to you, Jean Marc, for keeping us up to date with your nice letter above. Bon chance et bon courage aussi.

Catherine Noble

After researching Bandol, I am very excited for you and your family. What a picturesque town and as a Georgia woman who grew up near the coast, I can attest to the draw of salt water. Best wishes for all of you as you make this transition.

Lisa Adam

Congratulations on your move to what I have just found out is also known as le ville tranquile - after 5 yrs of running a vineyard, taking deep breaths at the sea would be fabulous. Enjoy!

Phil Anderson

Finally! It's a move (and not a baby!). Now I will have to go to Google and find exactly where Bandol is located. Will you still be in the wine growing business or . . a completely new way of life? Will your son be coming with you or serve time in the military? So many questions; so few answers yet. We await for more news. Good luck and try to keep us all informed.

Jim Anderson

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Sevahn Merian from Michigan

Dear Kristin,

What marvelous news! Wishing you bountiful blessings in beautiful Bandol for a very special family. Can't wait for your happy stories to begin again.

Carole Buschmann

Congratulations, I look forward to learning more about this region of France through your eyes and the eyes of your family. Bonne chance.



Debby Montague

Wishing you, Jean-Marc and your family all the best in Bandol


Felicitations! Je te souhaite bonne chance. J'espere que ce changement sera une grande succes et que tu sera heureuse dans ta nouvelle vie.

Peut-etre un jour on ouvrira une bouteille de Bandol chez toi! Entre temps, tous mes meilleurs voeux, et que tout soit bien chez toi.

J'ai des bons souvenirs des heures que nous avons passe chez toi au printemps, et je te remercie de nous avoir recu aussi chaleureusement.



Something is driving you to the sea and tranquility. I hope that that something is a good thing and not a health issue. Regardless, I wish you a smooth transition. I have been following you for many years and have become attached to you and your life. Take care. Wishing you the best.


Thank you for the memories of beautiful Bandol your news brought to me today. I visited there while staying in Sanary-sur-Mer two years ago. I am sure you will enjoy all the new adventures and the beautiful new place you will call home.
Bon chance! Jacki

Hilary Lange

Bon chance! How wonderful for you both. All the best. Will look forward to your stories about living by the sea. Hilary

Jens from Copenhagen

OMG, Kristi! Good luck with your new life on the coast. Bandol (and the wines from there!) is not a bad swop for Vaucluse.

As I have just written on DRB's site, I feel a little sad that we have been sitting together for the last time below the mulberry tree tasting the beautiful wines of Domaine Rouge-Bleu with a view to les Dentelles de Montmirail.

Hope to see you all in Copenhagen one day, though.

Mike Hardcastle

Well we were all wrong!
I move house myself (about 220 km further south and away from the coast) at about the same time.
I just looked up Bandol on google maps, it's bigger than I expected but with a beautiful yacht harbour. It's a part of France I don't know; so much country and with one half of us working full time, so little time.
Like most of your readers I'm looking forward to 'Tales from the Med" when they come along.
Bonne chance,

Sandra Fain

Amazing! I can hardly wait for your writing to resume, yet I have a question I'm even more anxious to have answered. Will your two pups transition with you? Best, best wishes to all.

Jacqueline Gill

I too have become attached to you and yours through these blogs. So, I will still be praying that this move is a good one and not a worrisome one. Change really is inevitable; I have learned , very slowly, to accept change and fully rely on God for courage and "tranquilite."
Love to all of you--sorry I will not meet you next year when I make my very first trip to Provence.

Karen Mitcham-Stoeckley

Wow! You'll love it there. John & I spent New Years 2000 there and have been back many times. Remember I will be in Les arcs until April working on the cookbook. Come see me! Very best wishes to all of you in this new adventure.
Karen Mitcham-Stoeckley

Christine Webb-Curtis

How lovely for you all. We are sea people, too. And Bandol is a lovely area. What a contrast from your upbringing in Arizona. Your children will love it after the initial shock of having to make new friends. My father is a retired minister, so as children we moved several times. It has made me a most adaptable person, and thanks for that.

Enjoy yourselves. I hope the move hasn't worn you all out, and I look forward to your missives from the sea!


Bill in St. Paul

Wow, what a change. Best of luck to you and your family on the move. How do Jackie and Max feel about moving??

Janine Cortell

Having lived for two years in La Grande Motte right on the Mediterranean I can well understand why you wish to live by the sea.
There is no place more tranquil or beautiful.
Wishing continued happiness in your new home..
Bisous, Janine

Judi Boeye Miller, Lake Balboa, CA

What a wonderful move! Oh, to live by the sea - a dream of mine. You've just given me more to be able to live vicariously through you, with stories soon to come from you and your life on the coast! No wonder you were in a bit of distress - this is a big change - but, oh such a wonderful one! Like other readers, I went right to the internet to look up Bandol. I had seen it before when I was planning a short stop for our upcoming trip to France - from Provence to Nice - so it was familiar, but I had forgotten how beautiful it was. Congratulations. New books? 'Missives from the Med' or 'Bavardage from Bandol'.....

I'm just sorry we had to postpone our trip from this past Spring to next Spring - I would have loved to have met you in St. Cecile! But, I get to 'meet' you every time I open up and read your posts! Thank you!


Vous avez déménagé. C'est chouette de vivre près de l'océan.

I did not expect you to leave your home, but my guess was almost perfect when I said vous allez acquérir une maison au bord de la mer.

Kristin, fais attention aux rayons de soleil.
Psst! JM, Messages de soutien (soutien sécrit sans T)


Congratulations Kristin...soon you will be wondering why you did not move before...look forward to new photos... lots of sea : )

Best wishes...


The images of Bandol do look pretty. Good luck!

Rosalinda B. Roll

Congratulations and good luck on your move and new venture.

Suzanne Codi

What wonderful news! And you are young enough to start a whole new adventure ! I'm sure the kids are thrilled, though leaving friends behind is hard and will take some adjusting, I know, I was raised by a nomadic family...but as Chris mentioned, changes make kids more adaptable later, and they will thank you for it.
Living by the sea or the ocean is a dream...So happy for all of you! We love that area, rented a house in St Clair a few years ago, and drove all along there...if only Charlie spoke French, I'd live there in a
heartbeat! Best wishes to all of you for this new chapter, and have fun settling in to your new home.

Debbie Ambrous -

How wonderfully exciting!!! We are looking forward to seeing the beautiful pictures from your new location in France.

Connie Barnes

Congratulations on this big move! It would be wonderful to live by the sea. I'm looking forward to your photos and blog about this new experience, Kristin. The best of luck to you and your family!

Susan Carter (Westminster, CA)

Kristi & Jean-Marc, Congratulations, your news is exciting & wonderful. I'm thrilled for you and your new adventure and feel priviledged that we get to come along on your new explorations. I'm sure Smokey will love the sea!


We are so happy for you and the kids! Can't wait to finally meet up in October. Looking forward to hearing what Bandol and the area have in store for you!!! Bon courage!!! Gros bisous, Joanne

Betty Tuininga

Wow! Congratulations on your wonderful life change. Everyone should follow their heart and and their head at this point of their life. May this bring peace and solace to you and wonderful new adventures too.


Hi dear Kristin,
CONGRATULATIONS to you and Jean-Marc (and the whole Espinasse family!)
This is wonderful news(!) and BRAVO(!!!) to you for following your hearts and beginning a new and happy chapter in your lives!
We share your joy and thank you for including us, your fortunate readers,in these terrific events!!
We're looking forward to your gifted writings-- and!! the next installments!!!
Natalia XO


Quite wonderful. Smokey and Mama Braise will have quite the adventure in their new home on the sea. Bandol is noted for its Rose-perhaps JM will start a new winery or become a distributor. Or you could have a B&B where you could show jules's paintings.
A. Dumas liked Hyeres very much. much luck in the move and i await FWAD with an almost rivera flair.
ps. don't forget to wear a big straw hat-the sun.

Linda in Port Townsend WA

Good choice for you all! There's nothing like the sea air to whisk away all your troubles (well, not quite, but it's a start...). I'm so happy that your big announcement is something positive, and I hope that you are blessed with everything you're hoping for from your move to the seaside. Enjoy!

Karen B - Canada

Could not have been more wrong with my guess......I love love love that area. Good luck and hope to visit you then in 2012

Lisa A.,Los Angeles, CA

Congratulations on your move to Bandol! Now more than ever, I wish I would have been able to come for a visit this summer.

I look forward to your new stories of the sea!

Mim   (Richmond, VA)

Best wishes to the whole family. This was one of my two thoughts on what was happening for you. A move to the sea sounds inspiring. Hugs from across the sea.


Chère Kristin,
Whatever the reasons for the move, I am truly excited for you. In 2000 I spent a delightful week in La Cardiere D’Azur (just a few minutes above Bandol) taking a cooking class from master chef, René Bérard. I fell in love with the area, the people and the lovely wine. You are in a wonderful location, close to Toulon, Nice as well as Provence...Jules will love to visit, bien sur! Félicitations et bisous à vous tous!
Cindy avec Hurricane Isaac dans Louisiane.

Vicki, San Francisco Bay area

So good to hear this exciting news, Jean-Marc and Kristi! I haven't had a chance to comment since the "larme" post, but I have been worried about you. Glad the news is good news! Félicitations et bonne chance! The move must come with many emotions, some of them sadness for what you have left behind. But a new adventure awaits you and I will look forward to hearing about it!

Faye Stampe, Gleneden Beach, OR

Bonjour Kristin,

Congratulations! Your new move sounds exciting. I wish you bon chance and please keep in touch.

Be well.


Bonne chance et bon courage.
Enormous congratulations on your move.

Will await next message eagerly.




I was up at 5:00 a.m. - wringing my hands, as I knew it was just noon in Provence....

Kristi had told me yesterday that they would be unable to call me as they would be in the mist of paper-work finalizing the transaction for at least 6 hours as three sets of buyers/sellers would be at the conferance table in the village of Bandol. I have been on pins &

needles all day - watching one youtube gardening video after another. It never occurred to me to check my email......I am worn out from waiting for the news.

At last we are free from the gag-order and now can start talking about what types of roses and flowers and vegetables we should plant in this paradise.

I imagine Kristi is fast asleep right now, it's 2 a.m. at Rouge-Bleu and she is sleeping for the last time in the middle of their vineyard.

I have spent the last five months on Google Earth driving that little yellow man around on all of the roads surrounding Bandol. I feel like I already know all of the neighbors and have picked out a few homes to visit and ask if I can use their patio view to take some beautiful photo's of Kristi and JM's new paradise on earth....I'll be there in two weeks.




Kristin, it's easy to see why you have larmes and feel deracinee. (Sorry, I don't know how to do accents on this.). What a change to leave the home and land where you've invested so much time, love, laughter, sweat, and tears. But what an adventure awaits you in a new town. The important thing is that you are together as a family, for home is truly where the heart is. Best wishes for all of you during this transition. Que le Seigneur vous benisse !


I told my husband that you would be moving to a new area, that it why you couldn't say as real estate transactios are very finicky and require time to be sorted out. One must never say till all the T's are crossed and the I's dotted. Congrats, looking forward to new adventures. Don't forget the sunscreen, I'm off back to the dermatologist with yet another sun problem!


Karen from Phoenix

CONGRATS! Sounds wonderful. Looking forward to hearing about why the move and what is next up for the family.

Miss your wonderful stories, now can't wait for all the new adventures.

My love sent your way.


Lee Adams

Cher Kristin et Jean Marc, WOW!!! We wish you "Bonne Chance"!! Of course our visits to Povence will not be the same without the two of you at Domaine Rouge-Bleu. We shared so many wonderful times together under your mulberry tree. As we are lucky enough to have a home on the Atlantic, we understand your wanting to be near the sea.
Much love,
Lee and Maureen

Kathleen Hurder

Cher Kristi and Jean Marc,
Congratulations and bon chance!!! We wish you all the happiness in the world on your new adventure! keep in touch we will miss you in SCdV, but can't wait to visit in Bandol!!!
Kathleen and Ron. Xxoo

Kitty Wilson

Quelle joie: vivre à côté de la mer!

Can barely wait for you to be resettled and sharing with us all once again, Kristi! Huge congrats on this wonderful venture -- what a thrill for each and all of la famille Espinasse ... félicitations!!

Ellen Hill

What a change - but the countryside and sea near Bandol are beautiful;look forward to hearing from you aqain soon Kistin. Will also continue my search for DomaineRouge Bleu in Canada.

Holly H

Bonne chance! Love your blog!
Holly H


Félicitations!! Quel rève de vivre près de la mer.... J'en suis très contente pour vous tous.


LOVE IT!! Love it for y'all. Love that area. Love the sea.
Because twin granddaughters arriving in next few days, and because of ancient wonderful dog, probably can't make vendange this year. But surely hope to, while I'm still able.

Will be watching longingly every thing you're able to send.
Bonne chance.....


Soft winds blowing from the sea....makes writing a breeze !
Looking forward to the next chapters of your life...!!!

Nikki Tureen

Sounds wonderful! Ste Cecile has its charms but nothing beats living on the coast & feeling the sense of possibilities that wide open horizon offers. I'll miss the proximity from Vaison but who knows...maybe a change is in our future too!


Wow, congrats on your new adventure!

annie shultz

how beautiful, how perfect, so glad the news is not that you have finished with fwad - whew!!
your gorgeous posts are a big part of my life

warm regards to all


Wonderful news~so very happy for you guys and your new adventures!
Much love and warm smiles for your new home;-)
Bonne chance!

Alyssa Ross Eppich

Congratulations, Kristin and Jean-Marc! I look forward to hearing of your new adventures, and I am happy to hear that Jules is involved. You will be so happy by the sea, you'll see(lol).

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