Around France

The Oddest Place You Will Find That Makes Olive Oil

Olives Everywhere

The Barefoot Blogger is on a quest to find out about olive oil.

The Languedoc/Occitanie region of France is the largest producer of wines in the country. Mixed in with the acres of vineyards are a multitude of olive trees. So, while France lags behind Spain and Italy in producing olive oil, many “moulins olive à huile” (olive oil mills) are right around where I live in Uzès. I went to search for olive oil.

Olives everywhere

Olives next to vineyards outside Uzès


Outside Uzès, I found a moulin  in the oddest place.

Olives everywhere

Moulin olive à huile in Saint-Hippolyte-de-Montaigu


The roadside moulin is in the tiny village of Saint-Hippolyte-de-Montaigu. The town runs along the street between Uzès and Bagnols. You’ll miss the moulin if you don’t know where to look.  

But not this day. Signs and Halloween decorations marked the spot.

A drive around the back of the “compound” revealed a holding tank for oil … and the remains of an 11th-century chapel.

Moulin à huile Saint-Hippolyte-de-Montaigu

Moulin à huile Saint-Hippolyte-de-Montaigu

A garage-like building that contained the mill 


Olives everywhere

… and a neighborhood store with fresh fruits and vegetables, chèvre cheese, saucissons … and screaming spooks and spiderwebs. What a treat!

Shop decorated for Fall and Halloween

Shop decorated for Fall and Halloween


french shop


Fresh chèvre cheese

Fresh chèvre cheese



Saucisson-sec, a specialty of France


In a pickling jar stashed under a table, olives saved from the press were ready to be scooped up and sold. 

olives everywhere

Freshly marinated olives


The oil pressing had been finished for the day; nevertheless, I was given a demonstration of the equipment and the process.



olives everywhere

Bushels of olives ready for the next day’s work


More garages were out in the yard. All are stocked with regional goodies.




Of course, wine!


After loading my car with vegetables, olive oil, and wine, the owner handed me two cadeaux (gifts) — chestnuts and a sack of marinaded olives. Before I could get in the car, I was led to the front of the store to see the most prized decoration — a model of the aqueduct at Pont-du-Gard.


A model of Pont-du-Gard mounted on the roof of the shop

A model of Pont-du-Gard mounted on the roof of the shop.


When Lucy and I pulled out of the driveway, I was grinning from ear to ear about my day’s find and the fun I’d had visiting these delightful people and their shop.

 The grin turned into a big laugh when I looked back at the store window. 


The end of another day in my fabulous new world.

Is it any wonder why I love France?!




12 replies »

  1. Another wonderful post, unwrapping another layer of culture in this beautiful region- thanks again.

  2. No, Debby, it’s no wonder at all why you love it. You have become a splendid photographer ! Reading your blog only makes me more eager for your next visit to my environs …

    • So happy to connected with you again, Fran. We’ll have lots of time to catch up on everything on my visit back to the States. Glad you like the blog and the photos. It’s what I do now!

  3. DEBORAH what a great find and fun time you must have had with the owners and the olive oil presentation. We miss you already and have not heard back from David as yet but certainly looking forward to our return to the wonderful Uzes area. Keep up he wonderful travel information and give us things to put on our “Bucket List” for next year–Remember a meal without wine is called BREAKFAST!! Give our best to Geoffrey and the Provincal gang.

    • Rich, I haven’t stopped! The party in Uzes goes on, and on! This week will take me to an Abrivado in the Camargue … horses! I stopped at Foncia last week and will again. Keep me posted. You guys just have to be here!

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