Every now and then, opportunities arise in life that you just can’t turn down. When they do, grab them with both hands! My recent invitation to go wine tasting in Bandol, South of France with was one of them. I imagine this to be something that is on the bucket list of wine-lovers all around the world, so I felt very lucky to do this on my recent trip to France with Princess Cruises. No sooner had we touched down at Marseille Airport, we were whisked off to Bandol for our wine tasting experience.
The wine region of Bandol is located near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis and is one of the most internationally recognised wine regions in France. It’s particularly famous for producing some of the best rose wine in the world, and I had the pleasure of tasting one (or 6) of these varieties during my time there.
The unique wine tasting experience with Bandol Wine Tours included a tour and a tasting in two different vineyards; La Domaine de la Garenne and Domaines Bunan. Bandol Wine Tours also organised lunch for us at Le Bistrot de Jef, a 1-Michelin-star restaurant in the quaint town of La Cadiere d’Azur. The whole experience was such a treat and something I will remember for years to come.
The Perfect Subject
With an expanse of lush green vineyards and rolling hills, the landscapes of Bandol reminded me of Tuscany and Puglia (two places very close to my heart). One of my favourite parts about travel is working on my photography and the scenery of Bandol became the perfect subject. As well as shooting on my SLR camera, I also experimented with two new smartphone lenses from Pixter. By bringing along the Wide Angle Pro and the Macro lens, I was able to test out two very different photography effects.
The Landscape Shots
The Pixter Wide Angle Pro lens was perfect for capturing my landscape shots in Bandol. Whilst the panoramic shot setting within iPhone cameras can sometimes be a little grainy, this lens allowed me to get beautifully high quality panoramic shots that really did the viewpoints justice. Although I used the lenses on an iPhone, they’re actually compatible with any smartphone.
Wine tasting in Bandol. I took this photo at the main view point in La Cadiere d’Azur. The wide angle pro gives iPhone selfies a whole new perspective.
The vineyard of La Domaine De La Garenne sat in a beautiful valley of greenery. It was spectacular from every angle so the wide angle pro came in useful here too. As I was also focusing on Instagram stories, it was easy for me to switch effects on my iPhone quickly.
Huge wooden oak barrels at La Domaine De La Garenne. The thick walls of the building helped to keep the temperature and the wine cool.
We stopped for lunch at the Michelin-starred Le Bistrot de Jef in La Cadiere d’Azur. The restaurant had panoramic views that we enjoyed over fresh seafood and our first taste of local Rose wine.
My favourite panorama of the day was at the entrance of Domaine Bunan, the second vineyard we visited during the wine tasting in Bandol
The Detail Shots
My photography style mixes landscape and buildings with finer details. The Pixter Macro lens helped me to get even closer to those finer details and I had a go at experimenting with close ups at the market in the small town of La Cadiere D’Azur.
Market Strawberries with a Macro Lens
Market Onions with a Macro Lens
Pineapple Skin with a Macro Lens
Plant with a Macro lens
Wine bottle label with a Macro lens
Everything In Between
For everything in between landscapes and details, I stuck to my SLR camera. It’s perfect for street shots and building shots. I snapped away as we explored the pretty town of La Cadiere d’Azur, which felt like a superbly rustic French town.
I loved strolling through the quaint streets of La Cadiere d’Azur, which is right in the heart of Bandol’s wine region. This pretty little town is a must for anyone visiting the area.
The town of Cadiere d’Azur was an Instagrammer’s dream!
My favourite wine of the day was a rose at Domaine Bunan, the second vineyard of the day. The owners told us it was sold in Marks and Spencers, so I will definitely be on the lookout for another bottle.
The wine barrels of Domaine Bunan
My Verdict on Pixter Lenses
Pixter iPhone lenses are a great option if you want to take beautiful photos without being weighed down by a heavy SLR camera. The lenses take 1 second to attach to your smartphone and can instantly transform the look of your photos. I particularly loved the Wide Angle Pro for taking stunning landscape shots, which are so important for me as a travel blogger. I also loved that the lenses come in their own individual bags with lens caps to keep them protected.
I am really particular about my photography, so whilst I don’t think the Pixter lenses could ever permanently replace my SLR, I think they are a great addition of kit for photography enthusiasts. For active scenarios when I can’t bring my SLR e.g. hiking or water-based activates, the Pixter lenses are small and light enough to come along. I’ll definitely be bringing them along on all of my upcoming travels!
Is wine tasting in Bandol on your travel bucket list? Have you ever experimented with iPhone lenses before? If you’ve enjoyed this post and my photography, please leave me a comment in the box below. Jess x
To find out what else I got up to in the South of France, read about My First Time on a Cruise Ship.
The Macro and Wide Angle Pro lenses featured in this post both retail at £49.90
With special thanks to Princess Cruises for inviting me to France to experience this wine tasting in Bandol and a day on board Royal Princess.
This post has been sponsored by Pixter. As always, all views and photos (excluding Pixter flat lay) are my own.