Mas Rolland, Montesquieu

If you love animals and the country life then the Mas Rolland near Gabian is a great place for the kids. The Mas Rolland is a goat farm and they make splendid 'chèvre' here, really fresh. The hamlet of Montesquieu is tiny and the Mas is the biggest thing here. Phone ahead and you might be able to assist with rounding the goats up from the hill in the afternoon. This usually takes place at about 3pm in the summer so be aware that this can be very hot work, but definitely worth it if this kind of thing is your bag. The goats are big brown Alpines and are surprisingly gentle; watch out for the big white guard dog though - he is not! It's his job to guard the goats and he is not the sort of dog that you can pat. You can watch the milking, get up close and personal with the goats in their barn and afterwards, buy some of the different sorts of cheese made and sold here. You can choose between cheeses made the same day or just a few days previously as this changes the flavour immensely. Some cheeses or ‘pelardons’ are rolled in a type of ash to improve the flavour too. Unlike Roquefort or other hard cheeses, goats’ cheese does not normally need maturing to gain its full flavour.

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