And, Another Long Trip to Europe, Part One


Francoise, my lovely wife, left for France during the closing days of August.

By then, she had received all documents subsequent to her interview and her test on American citizenship which she passed with flying colors and became a naturalized US citizen on August 14.  She quickly got her blue passport and went visiting with friends and family in Paris and in the Loire Valley.

In mid-September, I flew off and met her at the airport. We took the high speed train to Marseille, picked up a rental car  and proceeded to Forcalquier, the small medieval town in Provence where she has an apartment in a nineteenth century stone building.

On our docket was attending to multiple chores for the care and maintenance of her apartment including the installation of a new water heater as well as an upgrade of the electrical circuit-breaker box to meet the latest code.

Michel Voarick, owner of the prestigious vineyard in Aloxe-Corton, with Christine Gallet and Francoise.

We were also in contact with our friend Christine Gallet who is part of the team of Michel Voarick who runs an extraordinary winery in Aloxe Corton, one of the finest appellations of the top flight Burgundian wines. We purchased bottles of the famed white Corton-Charlemagne as well as bottles of the red Aloxe Corton. (We brought them back with us and these bottles are sleeping in Matthew Meyer’s area until all appropriate approvals have been received.  The special French wine dinner is to be announced shortly.)

The collection of copper pans and pots that will soon arrive in Williamsburg.

We also travelled to meet a friendly lavender producer who provided us with three forty-five pound bags of dried, high quality lavender.   The lavender is destined for the pleasure of the guests of Wedmore Place as we have small pouches of lavender in every room.  We shipped the lavender along with some fifteen antique copper pots and pans to the care of Bossuet, our fine artisan barrel making company located north of Bordeaux. This large parcel will be included in one of our forthcoming containers for shipment to the Williamsburg Winery.

Upper left: The old gate to the town of Forcalquier. Other visuals: On the French National Day of the Patrimony, we went to visit a house. It was acquired by a retired school teacher who has determined that he would continue the renovation of this sixteen century house. Above are views from the interior courtyard as well as one of the vaulted cellars.

Rome, Italy. Top, The Vatican City. Middle, George and Marianna Share with me on the bridge over the Tiber in front of the San Angelo Castle below.


During our stay in Forcalquier, we had the good fortune of visiting a property in the town that is open only once a year on the day to celebrate the rich architectural patrimony of France.

On the last day of September we were in Rome meeting George and Marianna Share, our good friends from Santa Monica.  From ’81 until ’86, George was Executive VP of Fragrances Selective in the days when I was that company’s International CEO. We have remained close friends all these years. George and Marianna, both now 82, are inspiring people staying vitally active and energetic.

(To be continued)


Patrick G. Duffeler
Founder & Chairman








This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.