Arty Escape & inspirations
with Annica Bondelid
#Escape No. 15
Annica Bondelid - sommelier, wine importer and winelover
Successful wine importer with a nose for the wines that add a golden edge to life. Annica has worked with many of the major producers in France, Italy and Spain.
Tell us briefly about yourself
I'm always on my way, I love movement both in my mind, work and body. Since my younger days, traveling makes my feel alive. In my work I get the privilege to travel to beautiful vineyards around Europe.
I'm really blessed to work with my passion. But I have never had a place to escape to for tranquillity and peace where I can rest and relax until now.
What was your latest special arty escape?
My most special escape is my partner's vineyard in the south of France. My last visit was during Christmas 2022, we stayed two weeks in this beautiful and historical surrounding next to Carcassonne.
What was the purpose of your travel?
It was a recreational trip, to relax, do some gardening and a check up on the vines. Catch some daylight and fill up the vitamin D.
Did you travel alone or with somebody?
I travelled with my partner
What places did you visit during this escape?
We flew to Toulouse, rented a car and drew to Domaine d'Escapat, my partner's vineyard in Villeneuve-Minervois, 20 minutes from the medieval city Carcassonne.
Tell us an anecdote or unforgettable memory from this trip
We went for morning walks, tasted wines and had lovely meals together in the big country kitchen. We did daytrips to Limoux, Figueres, Girona and Vernet-Les-Bains, all very memorable.
Favorite restaurants or culinary experience?
Going to the local market, buying fresh vegetables, local cheeses from the Pyrenées, oysters and fresh fish, going home, watching my partner cook, sipping a glass of homemade Chardonnay or one of his red top-wines. Lighting a fire using old vines from the vineyard. The scent of herbs, the sunshine and to enjoy the sunset together.
Any hidden gems, you could whisper to us?
To hike in Vernet-Les-Bains with natural sources with healthy water for longevity and health.
What not to miss?
To go to La Cité (the old town) of Carcassonne, to enjoy a tasting menu at the Guide Michelin starred “Barbacane” restaurant, especially during winter time, when the tourists are gone.
What's one of your favorite travel film or book?
I listen to music and audio-books when travelling. It makes the trip seem shorter.
And your favorite travel music?
It depends on season and mind. Van Morrison is one of my favourites.
Can you set a scent to this Arty Escape?
Lavender, when we cut the lavender field at Escapat and the scent of fire when we burned the leaves we had gathered, and the lovely smell of burning the old vines in the big open fire in the kitchen.
What does escape mean to you?
For me, escape is a place to go, to relax and get away from the pollution, greyness of everyday life in the big city where I live. It is quite funny that the actual place is called Escapat.
Have a look at escapat.com
Where do you look forward to go next?
I am going to Ciudad Real outside of Madrid for a winefair.
Your favorite vehicle when traveling?
Speed train, to watch the landscape while travelling.