There is no more beautiful landscape in the world than that of Provence in the Spring—gorgeous, vibrant purple lavender blanket the 52000 acres of land under the Provence AOC. Officially designated an appellation in 1977, Provence is the oldest wine producing region in France, making the oldest form of wine—Rosé! The typical Provencal vineyard resting between the Mediterranean and the Alps has picture-perfect terroir with the ideal Mediterranean climate. It’s no doubt this beautiful region makes just as gorgeous wines.
What are the appellations of Provence?
Five appellations are currently recognized in Provence, each with its own typicity: Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, Côtes de Provence Fréjus, Côtes de Provence La Londe, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu, and designated most recently in 2019, Côtes de Provence Notre-Dame des Anges. In general, the limestone and calcareous soil in Provence is poor, but well-drained. With shallow land, dry climate, and about 2,800 hours of sun each year, this Mediterranean climate is ideal for grapevines. Mistral winds are also a key characteristic of the region cooling off vineyards and protecting them from excess humidity.
What are the wines of Provence?
In Provence, making rosé is way of life, thanks to the region’s climate, terroir and varietals which are perfectly suited to this wine. Eighty-nine percent of Provence’s vines are dedicated to this pink wine and it’s the number one French region for its production of rosé–156 million AOC bottles in 2016, accounting for 42% of rosé production nationwide and 6% around the world! And with an actual scientific institute dedicated to research and mastery of this wine–the Centre de Recherche et d’Expérimentation sur le Vin Rosé–there should be no doubt Provence is the rose capital of the world. But the region is also known for producing high-quality red and white wines from its more than dozen varietals that comprise Provence AOC’s wines. Most wines are blends, with a few single varietal wines produced from dominant white grapes–Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbalenc, Rolle–and reds–Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Mourvedre, Tibouren, and even Cabernet Sauvignon.
Want to learn more about this unforgettable region? Join us for our Primavera in Provence class featuring the wines of Domaine Houchart, one of the most iconic families in Provence with a tradition of winemaking spanning over 150 years.
Martha et Erlinda, les Dams du Vin