Provence

Provence

Welcome to the region of lavender fields, olive trees, pine trees, mountains and rocky inlets, where wine has been made for over 2600 years.

The Mediterranean climate warms the sandy, volcanic stone and chalky terroir and the Alps shelters them in the north.

9 appellations make up the 2600 hectares of vineyards, dominated by red grape varieties...

Provence

Welcome to the region of lavender fields, olive trees, pine trees, mountains and rocky inlets, where wine has been made for over 2600 years.

The Mediterranean climate warms the sandy, volcanic stone and chalky terroir and the Alps shelters them in the north.

9 appellations make up the 2600 hectares of vineyards, dominated by red grape varieties, with Carignan in first place followed by Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre. White grapes are rare in this region, about 3%, and the two most common grapes are Ugni Blanc and Rolle. Rolle, otherwise known as Vermentino, is one of the oldest known varieties, and was probably brought to the Mediterranean well before the period of ancient Greek colonisation.

Even if the region does offer a great selection of red and white wines, it is Rosé wine that the region is known for. All types of rosé wine can be found, from light crisp ones to deep round ones. 88% of produced is dedicated to making rosé wine and regional production makes-up 35% of national production. No other region in France comes even close to matching these volumes of rosé.

The appellations

The largest of the 9 appellations is Côtes de Provence, which spreads from the town of Aix-en-Provence in the west to the town of Saint-Raphaël in the east. Within this appellation there are 4 sub-appellations that were distinguished due to their terroir: Sainte-victoire, Fréjus, La Londe and Pierrefeu.
East of Marseille, we find Cassis, a small appellation cultivated on the slopes of the valley that surrounds the small fishing village of Cassis, famous for its picturesque rocky inlets.
A few km from Cassis is Bandol, another charismatic village. Wines from here are arguably the most reputed, and Mourvèdre dominates grape varieties and helps produce powerful, complex reds.
The small appellation of Bellet surrounds the city of Nice. The soil here is consists of rounded stones and silica, and this helps produce aromatic wines. In Bellet you can also find a number of really rare grape varieties that can be used, such as Fuella, Braquet and Mayorquin.
Le Coteaux Varois-en-Provence obtained its appellation in 1993. Wines from here are quite similar to those from Côtes de Provence. However, small differences with the terroir usually produces better balanced wines.
Les Baux de Provence and Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence are two appellations spread over thousands of hectares between the village of Baux and the town of Aix-en-Provence. The first is the smaller of the two (350 hectares) and produces mainly strong red wines. The latter is the second largest appellation of the region with richer soils and vineyards that are cooled by the Mistral wind.
Except for 5 small wineries, nearly all production of Pierrevert is carried out at a cooperative, on a terroir that is very typical of the region.
We end our tour of Provence wine appellations at Palette, an area that inspired the artist Paul Cézanne. Carmelite monks first planted vineyards here around 1500AD. With 46 hectares it is the smallest appellation of the region, and over 30 grape types can be used for production. White wines from Palette are reputed as some of the best in Provence.

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