It’s already hot when I reach the small port of the Saint-Mandrier peninsula in the department of Var at 9 AM. With no sign of wind and waves barely 12 inches high, it is the perfect weather for tossing the region’s wine into the sea. Or at least it is according to Jérôme Vincent, the director of the Ecole Nationale des Scaphandriers (National School of Divers), who is waiting for me in front of his inflatable boat, ready to embark on the open ocean.
For someone like me who hails from the Southeast of France, Bandol is like holy water. I wouldn’t say it fuels my life, but during the summer when the clock strikes noon and the crickets are singing, it’s a local tradition to open up a bottle of fresh rosé. Hiding a cargo of the stuff in the Mediterranean Sea with a team of divers, on the other hand, is a first for me in oenology.