Les Indépendant·e·s

Cave Les Indépendant·e·s (Vallon-Pont-d’Arc)

© Les Indépendant·e·s

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In Vallon-Pont-d’Arc, the epicenter of canoeing and kayaking in the Ardèche region, tourists wearing socks and sandals come spend their last remaining euros (after stocking up on their yearly supply of chestnut butter) in this shop along the D579 highway, at the entrance of the village. Running things are Marion Poulain (founder of Des Racines au Verre online wine shop) and Laura Ozil (a food geographer and winemaker), who have built a very lovely collection of wines from the Ardèche, sold at more-than-reasonable prices: Les Lèches, a white blend from the Domaine du Mazel (€15), Babiole, a grenache-syrah blend from Andréa Calek (€12), La Mai Polida, a viognier from Le Mas de l’Escarida (€15), or Raffut, a syrah from Sylvain Bock (€20). Plus a few labels from other regions as well, like the 2020 Bordeaux red from Les Closeries des Moussis (€28) or Le Rouchefer, a Loire chenin from Mosse (€33). All of which can be eyeballed on the DIY shelves or around the central table near the stacks of boxed wine. And if post-paddling hunger pangs strike, there are jars of honey and jam in the corner that should get the job done. // Gwen Jacquère 

THE BULLET-PROOF BOTTLE: Pénultième, a red blend from the aforementioned Andréa Calek (€27). 

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