Just west of the great mass of Mont Ventoux, surrounded by farmland and vineyards, is Beaumes-de-Venise, where streets of shuttered bourgeois homes slope steeply into a market center. This is the renowned source of a delicately sweet muscat wine, but if you’re tasting, don’t overlook the local red wine.
Beaumes lies at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, a small range of rocky chalk cliffs eroded to lacy
pinnacles—hence the name dentelles (lace). From tiny D21, east of town, you’ll find dramatic views north to the ragged peaks and south over lush orchards and vineyards interspersed with olive groves, pine, and yew trees. It’s a splendid drive, and if you love nature it would be well worth staying in this area—many of the stone houses have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts.
In the town center you can also buy fruity, unfiltered olive oil produced in the area; it’s made in such small quantities that you’re unlikely to see it anywhere else.