This 26 centuries old vineyard is considered to be the oldest of France. 2600 years ago, Phocaeans brought vines in the country. After the fall of the Roman Empire, it developed again only during the High Middle Ages, driven by monastic orders. Located between the Mediterranean and the Alpes, the Provence vineyard extends over 200 kilometres from west to east. Its relief is much diversified and is constituted of two great geological blocks. The Provence is a historical specialist of rosé and seduces by its sensational fruit and its generosity. The Bandol, Coteaux Varois en Provence, Côtes de Provence, Sainte-Victoire, Baux de Provence or even IGP Mediterranee and Vaucluse appellations are also the birthplace of quality red and white wines.
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Located alongside the Mediterranean Sea in the southeast of France is the sunny, picturesque region of Provence. Deeply rooted in culture and ancient traditions, it is one of the oldest wine region in France and today is widely recognized for producing high-quality dry rose wines. In fact, Provence is the only wine region that produces more rose wine than white or red. The soil type in the area is rich in limestone, granite and clay which gives the wines their unique minerality, freshness and complexity.
The rose wines of Provence have become the benchmark for elegant, high-quality dry roses. Their rich aromatic diversity, generous minerality and high acidity are a direct expression of their terroir, reflecting of the unique soil, climate, and landscape of the Provencal region.
The area of Provence stretches approximately 150 miles from the Rhone Valley to the Cote d’Azur. The landscape is mainly arid and hilly as there are a number of pre-alpine mountain ranges that provide gentle sloping hills throughout the area. The geology of the region is very diverse and rich in minerals with an abundance of limestone, granite and clay. There is also a plethora of wild vegetation and plant life, consisting primarily of shrubs, woodlands and Provencal herbs, also referred to as Garrigue, which help contribute to the organic matter of the soil.
Provence enjoys nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and has an average temperature of 58*F. The rain falls mainly during the spring and fall and the annual total rainfall is around 30 inches. The region has long, dry summers which provides optimal growing and harvest conditions, reducing the risk of rot and vine diseases. Provence greatly benefits from the relief of the Mistral Wind which comes down from the North along the Rhone River. This wind helps cool the grapes, allowing them to preserve their great acidity, and also reducing the likelihood of certain fungal diseases. In some areas, the wind can be quite strong so viticulturists must plant barriers to protect their vines from any damage.
Provence has 10 official appellations or AOCs (Appellation d'origine controlee). The most well-known are Bandol, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence, Cotes de Provence and Cotes de Provence-Sainte Victoire. The Cotes de Provence is the largest AOC in the region and includes 85 communes between the towns of Marseille and Nice. It produces nearly 75% of all Provencal wine and rose alone accounts for 80% of that total.
The roses from Provence are made from the red grapes that are grown in the region. The grapes are harvested then vinified into small batches of single varietal wines. The winemaker will then blend the wines in a process called assemblage to achieve their desired color, bouquet and body. The main varieties grown in the region are Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, and Tibouren, with Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon permitted to constitute up to 30 percent of the total blend.