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Bandol pioneer Lucie Peyraud of Domaine Tempier dies

Lucie ‘Lulu’ Peyraud of Domaine Tempier, who helped put Bandol on the map and whose Provençal cooking inspired the likes of Alice Waters, has died aged 102.

Lucia ‘Lulu’ Peyraud raises a glass beside a special bottling of Domaine Tempier created for her centenary

As reported by Wine Spectator, Peyraud died last Wednesday two months shy of her 103rd birthday.

“Her contributions were so huge, from her Provençal cooking to her joie de vivre. It is hard to describe what her influence was, but I hope the wines of Domaine Tempier reflect her,” Tempier’s winemaker, Daniel Ravier, told Wine Spectator.

Lucie Tempier was born in Marseilles on 11 December 1917. On marrying Lucien Peyraud in 1936, her father, a leather importer, gifted the couple with Domaine Tempier, a farm just outside Bandol, which had been in the family since 1834.

Lucie and Lucien Peyraud raise a toast

When the Peyrauds settled at the estate in 1940, it already boasted a cellar and pre-phylloxera vines that had been tended to by Lucie’s grandmother, Léonie.

The couple made it their mission to get Bandol its own AOC, a feat achieved in 1941, with Lucien holding the post of president of the ACO for 37 years.

In 1943, Lucien bottled his first wine; a rosé. Eight years later he produced his first Bandol red at the domaine with a label designed by Lula’s father, Alphonse.

As reported by Wine Spectator, Lulu sold the estate’s wines into restaurants and hotels across France while expanding the Peyraud brood to seven children.

After World War II, the Peyrauds travelled the world promoting their wines.

At the same time, self-taught cook Lucie turned Domaine Tempier into a hub for Provençal cuisine, preparing bountiful feasts for guests that became the stuff of legend.

Her cuisine inspired California chef Alice Waters, who met and dined with the Peyrauds in the 70s, to open famous farm-to-fork restautant Chez Panisse.

“Tonight we are drinking Bandol rosé with Lulu’s friends until we fall over! She had boundless love. Everyone who met her felt that she was their best friend,” Walters wrote on social media after hearing of Peyraud’s death, describing Lulu as “her loving mentor”.

American food writer Richard Olney wrote Lulu’s Provençal Table in 1994, which pays homage to Peyraud and her southern French recipes.

In 1983, Lulu helped to create the ‘Order of the Ladies of the Wine and the Table’, and was its president for three years.

She attributed her long life to drinking red wine and using the swing in her garden every day.

To mark Lulu’s 100th birthday in 2017, Domaine Tempier released a special label featuring a filigree swing in a hat tip to her favourite form of exercise.

She is survived by her seven children, 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Daniel Ravier has been the winemaker at Domaine Tempier since 2000, and six of Peyraud’s children sit on the board of directors for the domaine.

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