Provence winery experiences
Provence is a wine region in the far south-eastern corner of France, best known for the quality (and quantity) of its rosé wines and for its warm, mild climate. It is the oldest wine-producing region in France, with a history dating back over 2600 years.
The vineyards of Provence cover an area that measures roughly 200 kilometres (125 miles) from east to west. In this definitively Mediterranean climate – no Provencal vineyard is more than 55km (25 miles) from the Mediterranean – the vines enjoy around 3000 sunshine hours per year, along with an annual average temperature of 14.5°C (58°F).
Provence produces a wide range of high-quality wines, although it is best known for its rosé wines. The red grape varietals used to produce the rosé and red wines are Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Mourvèdre. As for the white varietals Rolle (Vermentino), Clairette, Marsanne, Ugni Blanc (aka Trebbiano), Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, and Roussanne are the most popular.
The long, dry summers provide ideal harvest conditions in most years, leaving most of the region's grape-growers free from worry about unwanted rot and vine disease. The diversity of landscapes and soils, as well as micro-climates, gives each sub-region its own identity.
There are nine main sub-regions that are also appellations (AOC). The largest, Côtes de Provence, accounts for around 75% of all wines produced in the region. The other AOCs in Provence include Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Coteaux Varois de Provence, Les Baux de Provence, Cassis, Bandol, Palette, Bellet, and Pierrevert.
The region's two most famous appellations are located between Marseille and Toulon on the Mediterranean coast. Bandol's deeply coloured, intensely flavoured reds are produced just 20 kilometres (12 miles) away from Cassis's herby, full-bodied whites.