Provence is known for its rocky mountains, its lavender-flavoured fields, but above all its wine! It all began 2600 years ago, when the Phocaeans founded Marseille and introduced the vine there. Four centuries after the Phocaeans, with the installation of the Romans on Provençal soil, the cultivation of bunches became prolific and quickly spread throughout the country, making Provence the leading wine-growing region in France.
Its wine-growing region extends over nearly 200 km between the Mediterranean and the Alps, in the Var and Bouches-du-Rhône, as well as a single village in the Alpes-Maritimes. Marked by a varied topography of natural sites, rocky and volcanic mountain ranges and a coastline alternating between fine sandy beaches and steep paths along the azure blue of the Mediterranean, Provence's landscape is unique in the world. This landscape includes the restanques: very steep terraces on which plots of vines are planted, as well as the walls and groves of trees typical of the region. These elements structure the landscape and protect its biodiversity by providing shelter for wildlife of all kinds.
In Provence, wine is therefore not just a simple product; discovering a wine of Provence means understanding where it comes from, immersing yourself in the terroir that has given it its full character, as well as meeting the people who made it...
The rosé wines of Côtes de Provence have a pale pink colour. Depending on their origin, these very expressive wines have a range of flavours that are either fruity (white fruits, citrus fruits, exotic fruits, berries, etc.) or floral, combined with mineral or empyreumatic notes, supported by a balanced structure, between roundness and intensity. The red wines of Côtes de Provence, on the other hand, have a dark colour and are divided into two types: first, fruity red wines that spend little time in the cellar and must be tasted quickly and, second, cellar wines that have complex flavours of black berries, cocoa, spices and powerful silky tannins, obtained through longer vat times. The white wines of Côtes de Provence are dry, have a light yellow colour with green highlights. They offer aromas of fruity citrus fruits, floral (white flowers), balsamic or honey.
The rosé wines of Côtes de Provence have a pale pink colour. Depending on their origin, these very expressive wines have a range of flavours that are either fruity (white fruits, citrus fruits, exotic fruits, berries, etc.) or floral, combined with mineral or empyreumatic notes, supported by a balanced structure, between roundness and intensity.
With an average annual production of 150 million bottles of rosé, Provence is the leading French region for rosé production and supplies about 5% of the world's rosé wines. It even houses a centre dedicated to rosé wine; the objective is to improve its quality through research and experimentation.
In Provence, there are two main techniques dedicated exclusively to its manufacture: cold maceration or direct pressing. The choice between one of the two techniques is guided by several factors: the maturity of the harvest, the grape varieties vinified and their sensory potential, the choice of proportions during the mixing and the desired flavour. In both cases, making a rosé requires as much meticulousness to obtain an attractive colour and aromas, both delicate and expressive; peach, melon, mango, grapefruit, mandarin and currant are the six main colours that a rosé from Provence can have.
We should not talk about Provence while forgetting to talk about its superb red wines. With their power and robust character, these wines warm us up in winter. Their purple colour has purple reflections in their youth while ruby tones appear with the years. They are divided into two types: first, red wines that emit fruity notes reminiscent of red fruits and spend little time in the cellar and must be tasted quickly, and second, cellar wines that have complex flavors of black berries, cocoa, spices and powerful silky tannins, obtained through longer vat times. With age, the red wines of Provence reveal a whole new character. In Provence, you will find red wines that are supple on the palate but also sometimes rustic and powerful.
The white wines of Provence have long been the favourites of Provençal restaurateurs, perfectly matching Mediterranean cuisine and its fish. The white wines of Provence spoil us with their subtlety and finesse. They offer us a bright pale yellow colour with green highlights. On the nose, this wine is discreet and sometimes emits aromas of citrus fruits, flowers, and even some spices such as pepper. They are structured, fresh and also suitable for ageing. As for gastronomy, a white wine from Provence will perfectly accompany a good bouillabaisse!
The white grapes of Provence include: Rolle, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. There are also the Bordeaux grape varieties of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon (which are sanctioned in some regions.) Regional grapes such as Pascal, Terret Blanc, Spagnol and Pignerol are still used but disappear quickly.
Most of the traditional red grapes used in Provence can be found elsewhere in France, including: Grenache Noir, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault, Counoise, Tannat and Cabernet Sauvignon. However, there are red varieties unique to Provence, including Tibourne, Braquet, Calitour, Folle Noir and Barbaroux.