The Lincelé family – the adventure of true lavender
We have been growing and distilling true lavender from father to son for over 5 generations. We have perpetuated the tradition and continue to pass down our savoir-faire. Each new generation receives the heritage of his elders’ experience and adds his own new contributions. Our single objective: to continue the lavender crop and ensure that it is not sacrificed on the altar of modern times and convenience. Georges Lincelé’s grandfather, aptly named Venance, was the son of a farmer. His family was not wealthy, but young Venance was a talented student and won a scholarship to a business school. His wife Marie was a hard-working woman from an influential local family. Together, their penchant for hard work and their good business sense brought them great success in selling wheat and almonds. They purchased land and a farm called “La Sigoyère” on the Albion highlands.
Georges and Marie Lincelé’s son Marius married Marcelle and they had 6 children. Marius was known to be a good distiller. At the time lavender was cut by hand in tended fields in the wild, which were worked on in the summer. Marius first set up a beverage production business in Apt, and passed his knowledge and his love for lavender on to his son Georges.
Georges Lincelé was a good businessman. At the end of the war he started working with ice, which went well with his father’s beverage business. Outside of the hot summer season, he bought and sold coal and wood. Then, as heating techniques changed, this business dwindled, and he turned to candied fruits. He built several candied fruit plants and became well-known in the field where he worked on new challenges such as fruits in syrup and fruit pastes. He never abandoned his love for lavender and slowly but surely acquired the Château du Bois and the land surrounding it, patiently putting together a beautiful 330-hectare estate.
Georges Lincelé was a collector. He sought out the daily objects used by lavender growers and distillers, and restored them in the old-fashioned way. Patiently he looked high and low for tools and parts used in lavender growing, to expand his collection. He found stills, handmade implements, perfume flasks, labels. Some finds dated back to the 17th century.
He came up with the idea of creating a space dedicated to his passion, a single space where he could display all his collections, promote lavender and sell the production from his own lavender farm. Thus the Lavender Museum was born.
Georges Lincelé was acknowledged by his peers. As a well-known grower and distiller of true lavender, he was named Chevalier de la Commanderie de la Lavande de Haute-Provence on 15 August 1993 in Sault. The Commanderie de la Lavande de Haute-Provence is a grouping of farmers and distillers, artists and politicians, which formed in 1986 to promote and defend lavender from Haute-Provence.
Jack and Sophie Lincelé have continued to develop and sustain the lavender activity. They work together well, and together they improve the Museum, making it a lively up-to-date centre for excellence. Their efforts are acknowledged in the constantly increasing number of visitors. Visitor satisfaction is studied regularly, and feedback helps the Lincelé family to meet the expectations of lavender lovers of all ages and origins. Their in-depth, quality work has earned the following recognition for the Lavender Museum:
- Accessible for mental, hearing and visually impaired visitors
(2007 – 1st site in Vaucluse to earn this distinction)
1er site vauclusien labellisé)
- Quality tourism business destination in 2011
- Quality tourism cultural site in 2012
(1st site in the Provence-Alps-Cote d’Azur region to earn this distinction)
In their continued quest for excellence, the Lincelé family also created and developed the “Le Château du Bois®” range of true lavender well-being and cosmetic products. Their demanding standards quickly made these products a well-known and acknowledged reference in the field. Above all, Jack and Sophie Lincelé are strong defenders of the AOP appellation for essential oil from Haute Provence. Jack has stood among the directors of the APAL (association of AOP Lavender growers) for 4 years now.
New projects continue to take shape. Please come and see the latest ideas and improvements at the Lavender Museum. You can also sign up for our on-line newsletter. The Lincelé family is a long line of bold and enterprising business leaders. Jack and Sophie continue this tradition and may well pass their passion on to their children Max and Marilou who in turn will continue the tradition … if they so desire.