• Provence

    Spread-out along the south-east Mediterranean coast of France from Arles to Nice is the 8th producing region in terms of volume. This is an area where vine and olive trees are planted for thousands of years. This is the sunniest part of France with almost 3000 hours of sunlight per year. The summer is hot and dry with rain comes in thundering spurts in winter. What’s more, Provence is known for its frequent violent winds blowing up to 100 km/h. The landscape though is rugged and varied with a wide variety of soil providing refuges of pockets of mini-climates for vine-growing.

    The grape varieties are traditionally Mediterranean - Cinsault, Carignon and Mourvedre, dependable but en-exciting. In the recent past the Noble Grapes of the north – Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. are allowed to grow in order to arrive at a better blend for the local wine. Nowadays Provence wines are multi-grape-blended. As one could tell from the above –mentioned grapes the wines are almost all red or rosé. Less than 5% of the production is white wine which is made mainly from Vermentino and Clairette grapes.

    Provence wines are generally of constant high quality because of its dependable hot sunny climate, however they are rarely exceptional. The reds are full-bodied spicy in taste but never overly tannic. The rosé is fruity, light and fresh (gaining in popularity as the summer wine of choice). As the wines are consumed along the fashionable and touristic French Riviera the prices tend to be high.

    There are 9 appellations assigned: Côtes-de Provence, Coteaux-Varois, Coteaux-de-Pierrevert, Coteaux-d’Aix, Les Baux-de-Provence, Bandol, Palette, Cassis and Bellet. The latter 4 are tiny appellations but command higher prices than the rest. Essentially all wines of Provence regardless of appellation are similar in style and taste because they are based on the same grape varieties under more or less the same climatic conditions.

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