The Mistral: Provence’s Half-Demon, Half-Angel Wind

Who has never heard of the Mistral wind of Provence, with its many advantages and disadvantages? Half-angel, half-demon, it is at times appreciated, at times maligned...
By Angélique Jurquet

Like the sun, the Mistral is a weather phenomenon synonymous with Provence... Almost as popular as it is feared, this dry wind, whose speed and force are due to the ‘Venturi effect,’ blows in gusts about 130 days per year from the Languedoc region to the Var, via the Rhone Valley.

Absolutely freezing in winter, the Mistral however is rather popular during the hot days of July, when it brings some coolness when the sun is a little too strong. But it also has the disadvantage of significantly cooling the Mediterranean, propelling the warm coastal water seaward and thus deterring the most timid swimmers to take the plunge! Another constraint of this half-angel half-demon wind, it doesn’t help the firefighters in case of fire.

Since time immemorial, Provence and its people make do with the Mistral, or “Mistrau” in Provençal, which was even considered a great evil in the past. Nature bears the trace of this wind that blows to the northwest, with, for example trees leaning mostly to the south! If winegrowers appreciate Le Mistral it’s because it tends to keep diseases from the vines, while farmers protect their crops from the gusting wind that could dry out the crops by planting rows of cypress trees and poplars.

The Mistral: Provence’s Half-Demon, Half-Angel Wind
The Mistral Wind
The wind of Provence
Photographies: José Nicolas
The Mistral: Provence’s Half-Demon, Half-Angel Wind
The Mistral Wind
The wind belongs to the Provence landscape
Photographes: José Nicolas

Latest articles

Soledad Tari, Winemaker at Domaine de la Bégude

Soledad Tari, Winemaker at Domaine de la Bégude

Enamored with their property, Soledad and her husband Guillaume have been developing a boutique vineyard there for nearly 20 years. Their unwavering commitment is transcribed in wines with feminine notes, in the image of this passionate winemaker.
Charlotte Gastaut: Inside the Imagination of an Illustrator from Provence

Charlotte Gastaut: Inside the Imagination of an Illustrator from Provence

Originating from Marseille, the illustrator Charlotte Gastaut lent her talent to the decoration of L'Occitane’s Cherry Blossom collection. Between Provencal influence and Japanese inspiration, she invites us in to her dream world.
L'OCCITANE Fights Avoidable Blindness on World Braille Day

L'OCCITANE Fights Avoidable Blindness on World Braille Day

L'OCCITANE has been supporting the visually impaired since 1997. And since 2006, the brand is engaged in projects around the world to fight preventable blindness. Here’s how.