This project has been a work in progress for the past 2 years and has just opened. Its 5 ancient dry-stone wall terraces contain different types of plants: aromatic, medicinal, wild, magical… all with a stunning view over the village of Ménerbes up to the Monts de Vaucluse, encompassing the Luberon plain and Mont Ventoux. The Citadelle is already known for its ultra-modern wine-tasting cellar with a vaulted ceiling, lined with barrels and casks, the quirky Musée du Tire-Bouchon (corkscrew museum) and its light-filled boutique. Now, you can also wander through the garden.
The energetic owner of the Citadelle estate, Yves Rousset-Rouart, is a true popular French character. A former cinema producer, known for several cult movies (Les Bronzés -French Fried Vacation-, and the Emmanuelle series, among others), he was also the mayor of Ménerbes for almost 20 years and a national politician. He fell in love with this village, to the extent that he bought the Citadelle to live there and create a wine estate in order to invest in the local agriculture and viticulture. He went on to create the Corkscrew Museum to entice curious visitors, before creating the Botanical Garden on the hillside. This is the fulfilment of a dream held for more than 50 years, when, as a child, Rousset-Rouard visited the Alpin de Samoens Botanic Garden on holiday.
Spanning 5 hectares of ancient stone terraces, this garden encourages wandering and reflection. Perched at the top of the Domaine, it can be accessed directly via the wine cellar – everything is fully accessible, as there is a ramp instead of stairs. First of all, you can visit the “truffle patch”, a terrace planted with truffle trees; in a few years, there will be a harvest of tuber melanophorum, one of the stand-out products of Vaucluse and one of Yves Rousset-Rouard’s many other passions.
Further up, in the botanical garden itself, large, wooden planters are set at eye-level, thus avoiding back aches from bending over to smell the aromatic bouquets! The plants are spread out and clearly labelled: aromatic and medicinal herbs, edible wild herbs, magic herbs, aphrodisiac or toxic.
In order to make the most of your time here, tables and benches have been placed at intervals, in the shade of the pine trees or facing a breath-taking panorama that stretches from the Mont Ventoux to Luberon. At the end of your visit, be sure to pop by the Musée du Tire-Bouchon, which contains more than 1200 corkscrews, some of which are centuries old. You can delight in how these objects act as testament to historic periods, which can be explored through thousands of interesting details.
Wine-tasting of one of the various vintages of La Citadelle should not be overlooked! It would be a shame to miss out!
CLOSED TEMPORARILY DUE TO COVID-19
€5 – free for children under 15 years old. No pets allowed.
From 1 May to the end of October: open every day
From 1 November to the end of April: open Monday to Friday, closed on Sundays – open Saturdays from Easter.
Lasts about 1h30 for the full visit. Bring closed shoes, water and a hat in summer.
You can combine the visit to the wine cellar + wine-tasting (free for individuals) + Corkscrew Museum (entrance fee: €5) + Botanical Garden
Guided tours for groups by reservation only, in French or English.