Here we go in Provence

For many people, Provence wines are only Rosé wines. Even if rosé wines represent a significant part of the wines produced in this region, Provence vineyard also produce great red wines and some pretty white wines. 

Indeed, since many people are considering Provence wines as “holidays wines”, winemakers of the region decided to elevate the notoriety of their vineyard, developing more varieties of wines in Bouche-du-Rhone, Var and Alpes-Maritimes regions. 

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Soil & Weather

Soils are generally clay-limestone and they can be stony in some appellations. Just in front of the Mediterranean sea, the weather is pretty hot and there is no much rain. Provence vineyard usually have a bit of wind (called “Le Mistral”), which naturally help to prevent possible sickness of the vines. Spring season is pretty hot and most of the time, Provence area is not touched by hail and frost.

Appellation

Cote de Provence

-       White: Clairette, Sémillon, Ugni-Blanc

-       Red et rosé: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Cinsault, Cabernet, Carignan

Bandol

-       White: Bourboulenc, Clairette, Ugni-Blanc

-       Red & Rosé: Mourvèdre (min 50%), Grenache, Cinsault

Cassis

Source: CIVCP

Source: CIVCP

-       White: Clairette, Marsanne, Ugni-blanc, Sauignon

-       Red & Rosé: Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre

Bellet

-       White: Rolle, Chardonnay, Roussanne

-       Red & Rosé: Braquet, Folle noire, Cinsault

Palette

-       White: Clairette, Ugni Blanc, Picardon, Bourboulenc

-       Red & Rosé: Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Cinsault

Coteaux d’Aix en Provence

-       White: Vermentino, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon, Ugni Blanc

-       Red: Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Counoise, Cabernet Sauvignon 

Les Baux de Provence

-       Red & rosé: Grenahce, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault

Coteaux varois en Provence

-       White: Vermentino, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Sémillon, Ugni Blanc

-       Red & Rosé: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan 

Pierrevert

-       White: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Vermentino, Ugni Blanc, Marsanne, Viognier

-       Red & Rosé: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cinsault

There is a classification from 1955 where we have 23 estates as “CRU CLASSE”.  

Wine profile & matching 

Provence wines are different from one appellation to another and wines from the same appellation can also have different specificities. It is particularly true for AOC Cote de Provence with almost 20,000 ha of vines.  

White wines are ready to drink when they are young. They are generally fresh and aromatic and you can match them with sea food, fish soup or grilled fish.  

Rosé wines are generally dry, fruity and pleasant. It is also advised to drink them young. They can be served with the same meals as white wines and also with simple meat (like cold cut). 

There is a large variety of red wines. Fruity and supple, they can be enjoyed young and with grilled meat. 

Other wines from Bellet, Cassis, Bandol are more enjoyable after a few years. It is particularly true for AOC Bandol, full bodied of tannin with at least 50% of Mourvèdre grape. 

Indeed, red wines elevated in wood barrels should be opened after 18 months (at least) to release their full potential and they can be paired with cheese and strong meat like duck, rabbit and game meat.