Where would you like to live?
J’aime la Provence! I’ve lived in 5 countries and traveled extensively. While my Mum considers me a gypsy, I prefer to think of myself as adventurous. Splitting my time between Provence, France and Montecito, California (with some family time in Australia thrown into the mix) is a dream come true.
What do you most value in your friends?
Not having to explain myself. I love being able to be completely honest and feeling safe that I won’t be judged. Well, not judged too much anyway…
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel. I should own an airline by now. And maybe a couple of hotels.
What is your greatest fear?
Getting lost. And, it’s not just a fear as I have the worst sense of direction! My new best friend is the app Waze and she never gets lost – even in the admittedly confusing French countryside.
Your most marked characteristics?
Well I’m a Gemini, so it’s a life of extremes – independent & disciplined versus social butterfly & life of the party. And regardless of the extreme, I am definitely loyal.
What don’t people get about you?
I’m sarcastic. Although some consider sarcasm the lowest form of humor, I disagree and love watching the questioning and wonder crosses over someone’s face as they wonder, “Is she serious?” I guess I just find it funny when people take themselves so seriously! When I first moved to California, people had a very difficult time understanding me, my accent as well as my humor. I blame my English parents and two older brothers. Dry Monty Python-type humor was a staple in our household and for that I thank them.
If you were on your deathbed, what bottle of wine would you drink?
That’s an easy one – all of them!
What is your motto?
Live a big, fat, fabulous life!
How did you get into the wine industry?
I’ve always had a passion for anything wine – the place it comes from, the people who make it and the stories of how it ended up in the bottle. I became a Sommelier after an inspiring year living in Napa, California. I wanted to teach people about the world of wine. I became a Wine Director in Los Angeles, then I spent a year filming in wine regions of the world for a television show (which didn’t end up being produced, but the experience didn’t suck). I continue teaching wine classes for budding oenophiles and simply love sharing my passion for wine. In addition, I have taken on the role of Wine Host, cruising the picture-perfect rivers of Europe on the luxurious AmaWaterways fleet.
How does an Australian/Californian end up in Provence?
I first visited Provence in 1996 and have been back many times. I discovered the beauty of the Luberon region’s village of Goult after attending a friend’s wedding. I felt an instant connection with the place – a traditional hilltop village, friendly people (with a deep love and appreciation for incredible food and wine) and amazing views over acres of vineyards – what’s not to love?
Clare’s wine knowledge and ability to plan unique experiences had us tasting like pros and loving life in Provence! That, along with the luxurious accommodations and the fact that she’s thought of and provided everything, made our trip exceptional. We’ll be back.
Our trip was absolutely magical! Everything was so well organized and we felt truly spoilt.
What an incredible trip. A beautiful villa, unique experiences and the best food and wine we’ve ever had! Thank goodness for the early morning hikes through the vineyards. We loved it all!