When you come and visit us, you'll find in the wine cellar the following rice varieties:
Long white rice
Rice is our second main crop growing at Mas de Valériole.
Jean-Paul Michel is the person in charge, supported by his son Laurent and his nephew Armand.
In Camargue, many rice varieties can be found: long grain and extra-long grain, round grain, aromatic rice,
wholegrain, brown, red, black…
Camargue rice bears a Protected Geographical Indication since June 6th, 2000.
In winter, the fields need to be prepared for future sowing.
Rice is sowed during spring between April, 25th and May, 10th, and its harvest occurs five months later,
more or less, depending on the rice variety that was planted.
It is during that time period that Camargue looks like a water mirror.
It is said that rice has its feet in the water and its head in the sun, and it’s true!
Rice grows in water that a whole network of canals brings from the Rhône into the paddy fields.
Managing this water and its level according to temperatures and to rice growth stage is essential.
This means Jean-Paul has to walk through each and every dirt track within the 200ha of paddy fields he is in charge of: he needs to look out for potential threats that would threaten the proper growing of the rice.
This work is demanding and varies each year as it is highly related to the weather.
And, as mid-September approaches, a frenzy takes hold of Camargue: the harvest begins!
If you come to Camargue at that time, you will see the combine harvesters operating in the paddy fields and it is most likely that you'll be following heavy trailers on the road that carry a full year’s worth of work…