PROVENCE

Welcome to the oldest winemaking region in France

 

Provence does Rose come to mind? 

 

Provence is the only region in the world to focus their production on Rose wine

 

This region produces beautiful fruity, dry rose for the past 2,600 years

History

 

6 CENTURY BC 

 

Greeks settled in Marseille and introduced the grape vine to the area

 

2 CENTURY BC

 

Provence became the first region outside of Italy to be under Roman ruling

 

122BC

 

Provence began to trade wine through the Romans, The region already had a reputation for their rose production in 122 BC 

 

MIDDLE AGES

 

Vineyards were taken care of my churches and monasteries, their were great improvements in vineyard practises and winemaking

 

1400s

 

Provence officially became apart of France

 

 1936 Received AOC status for Cassis 

 

1941 The following areas received AOC status Bandol  Bellet

 

1948 The following area received AOC status Palette

 

1977 Cotes de Provence AOC 

 

1985 Coteaux d Aix-en-Provence 

 

1993 Coteaux Varois en Provence

Location

Provence is located along the coast of South East Coast of France 

 

The Southern edge of this region is framed by Mediterrenan sea

Climate

Climate is Mediterranean

  Alpine and continental influences can be found in some parts of the region

Up to 3,000 sunshine hours per year 

Mediterranean Sea influences the temperatures along the coast 

Vineyards more inland have cooler nights

Summers are hot and dry

Winter is marked by rain

The fierce winds of the Mistral effect this region is a positive way, by cooling down the hot summer days 

Geology & Topography 

Grape Varieties

Provence is a large wine growing area, picturesque with many mountains throughout the region,

fields of vines  that stretch as far as the eye can see. 

 

Majority of the Mountains are in the East of the region, closer to the border or Italy. 

 

How are these mountains effecting the vineyard?  

Diurnal’s are significant here, diurnal’s refer to the difference between day and night temperatures. 

Cool air blows down off the mountain peak during when the sun goes down. 

 

Massif - a compact group of mountains  

Below is a list of several mountains that can be found in the region of Provence

 

Les Alpilles  

Maritime Alps 

Montagne Sainte-Victoire  

Massif des Calanques  

Massif des Maures  

Coastal mountains are located along the edge of the Mediterranean, 780 meters high 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soils 

 

2 principal soil types  

 

Calcareous limestone, (Calacarous = limy/chalky) 

Crystalline (composed of crystals) or quartz rich schist  

 

Northern & Western Provence – Limestone and Clay 

Eastern Provence – Quartz-rich schist  

 

The following areas have limestone and clay soils  

Cotes Varois en Provence  

Cotes d’Aix-en-Provence (east part) 

Cotes de Provence (west part) 

From Toulon to St-Tropez the soils are Crystalline Schist 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White grapes

Red grapes

 
Mourvedre 
 
Carignan 
 
Cinsault 
 
Counoise 
 
Terret Noir 
 
Cabernet Sauvignon 
 
Tibouren 
 
Braquet 
 
Calitor 
 
Folle Noire 
 
Barbaroux
 
Grenache Noir 
 
Syrah 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Grenache Blanc 

 

Bourboulenc Blanc 

 

Clairette (Blanc and Rose) 

 

Pascal 

 

Terract Blanc 

 

Picardan 

 

Marsanne

 

Rolle (Vermentino) 

 

Ugni Blanc (Roussan) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roussanne 

 

Sauvignon Blanc 

 

Semillon 

 

Chardonnay 

 

Blanquerion 

 

Viognier 

 

Muscat a Petit Grains Blanc 

 

Picquepoul 

 

2 disappearing varieties 

 

Spagnol and Pignerol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viticulture

Old vines are planted and trained use the Gobelet system, the same training method used in Southern Rhone and Beaujolais. 

 

New vines are planted and trained Guyot style

Goblet training

Guyot training

Appellations

Cotes de Provence AOC 

 

Largest Appellation in Provence 

75% of all the wine produced in Provence 

 

90% Rose wine 

8% Red 

2% White 

85 Communes 

 

Covers 3 wine growing sub regions and 5 vineyard areas 

 

Cotes de Provence AOC includes vineyards planted on different soils, various aspects and climates therefore the wines tend to vary. 

 

White wine 

can be made up of the following grapes with no minimum or maximums 

Clairette, Rolle (Vermentino), Semillon and Ugni Blanc 

 

Red and Rose wine 

2 of the following varieties must be used 

Grenache 

Mourvedre 

Cinsault 

Tibouren 

Syrah 

Optional blending partners are 

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Carignan 

Rose – a small amount of the following white varieties can be added Rolle(Vermentino), Ugni Blanc, Semillon or Clairette. 

 

 

4 geographic destinations within the Cotes des Provence AOC, see in the table above and map above

 

They are not separate AOCs however the following destinations have stricter production standards and the name may appear on the label. 

 

After the words phrase Cotes de Provence the following name will appear 

 

Sainte-Victoire 

Frejus 

La Londe 

Pierrefeu 

 

Regulations for the areas above include,

Minimum alcohol 11.5% 

Yield limits

Ageing requirement Oak maturation for Frejus Reds

(6months in oak barrels)

 

Cotes de Provence Crus Classes 1955

 

classification system was established 18 estates are included, the classification system applies to the estate and not the vineyard, how ever the grapes that go into the wine must come from the vineyard that was classified in 1955 due to it's special characteristics. 18 Cru Classes of Provence

 

  • Domaine du Jas d’Esclancs

  • Château Sainte Roseline

  • Château Routine

  • Château de Saint Martin

  • Château de Selle

  • Domaine de Saint Maur

  • Château de Brégançon

  • Domaine du Noyer

  • Domaine de la Croix

  • Château Minuty

  • Château du Galoupet

  • Clos Mireille

  • Domaine de la Source Sainte Marguerite

  • Domaine de Mauvanne

  • Domaine de l'Aumérade

  • Domaine de la Clapière

  • Domaine de Rimauresq

  • Clos Cibonne

 

 

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence AOC



Second largest appellation


Located in the North-Western part of Provence
The Mistral winds have a great influence on is area


80% Rose
15% Red
5% White


Grapes used in production of white wine
Primary blending partners Minimum 50% Clairette, Grenache Blanc , Ugni Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc 
Secondary blending partners Bourboulenc and Semillon 

Grapes uses in production of red and rose wine
Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Syrah and Counoise
Can be blended with Cabernet Sauvignon(
introduced in 1960) and Carignan.
Rose - allowed to blend with white varieties at a maximum of 20%

 

 


Les Baux de Provence AOC

 


Located in the North western part of Provence,

west of Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence


Organic and biodynamic wine is produced here and in growing amounts

65% Red
30% Rose
5% White


White wine grapes 
Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Rolle 
Optional blending partners Bourboulanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Ugni Blanc

Rose wine grapes 
Legally has to contain at least 2 of the following grapes but can not exceed 90% of the blend  individually 


Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault 
 

Blending partners Mourvèdre, Carignan, Counoise and Cabernet Sauvignon

Red wine grapes
Legally has to contain at least 2 of the following grapes but can not exceed 90% of the blend individually 

 

Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre
 

Blending partners Cinsault, Counoise, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon 
MUST be
aged for 1 year before release
Can be either stainless steel or oak. The ageing vessel is not regulated

 

 

 

Coteaux Varois en Provence AOC 

 


90% Rose
8% Red
2% White


Climate- Mediterranean with continental influences 
Average elevation of vineyards 360 meters


Roses produced here are more powerful then other areas because this region experiences slower maturation because of the cooler climate

Pinot Noir is being planted in this area, currently only permitted for IGP production

White wine 

Rolle, Ugni Blanc, 
Blending partners Semillon, Clairette and Grenache Blanc 

Red and rose wine
Legally has to contain at least 2 of the following varieties but can  not exceed 90% of the blend individually


Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah 
 

Blending partners Cabernet Sauvignon, Tibouren and Carignan 

Rose - allowed to blend with white varieties, maximum 20% of the final blend

 


 

Palette AOC 


Smallest appellation in Provence


45% Red
35% White
20% Rose


Grapes must be hand harvested

Aging requirements 

White and Rose wine 9 months 

Red wine 18 months in oak 

White wine is blend of the following grapes


Must be at least 55% Clairette Blanche, Clairette Rose, Picardan and Bourboulenc

may be 55% blended or singularly 

The remainder can be made up of 13 different grapes

Red and rose wine is a blend of the following grapes

Minimum of 50% 

Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvedre 

 

Reds can make up the rest of the blend with 12 other varieties

 

Ageing requirement - Minimum of 15 months in oak 

 

Rose can make up the rest of the blend with 15% white varieties

 

 

Cassis AOC

 

The vineyards of Cassis are terraced vineyards in between the sea and the Massif des Calanques (limestone cliffs)

 

These cliffs shelter the vines from the fierce winds of the Mistral. 

 

The only appellation in Provence to focus its production on White wine usually made from Marsanne

 

White wine production - 70%

 

White wine of Cassis is usually a Marsanne - Clairette blend, wine is highly aromatic, aromas of white peach, lime, citrus and grape. 

 

The following varieties are also allowed to be incorporated into the blend 

Pascal, Ugni Blanc, Terret Blanc, Bourboulenc and Sauvignon Blanc 

 

Red and Rose blend is usually made up primarily of the 3 following grpaes 

 

Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvedre

 

Barbaroux, Terret Noir and Carignan can also be used in the blend, only ever in small percentages. 

 

Rose - can also blend with up to 20% white varieties

 

 

Bandol AOC

 

One of the oldest wine producing region within Provence

 

West of Toulon is the appellation Bandol, located along the Southern coast near the Mediterranean Sea, most vines face East towards the sea. 

 

All grapes must be hand harvested 

 

60% Rose 

30% Red

10% White 

 

Red 

Minimum of 50% but can not exceed 95% of the blend are the 3 following grapes 

Mourvedre, Grenahce and Cinsault

Blending partners Syrah, Carignan 

 

Ageing requirement - 18 months in oak 

 

The red wines of Bandol can age in bottle for over 10 years, need 3 years to open up

 

Rose 

Minimum of 50% but can not exceed 95% of the blend are the 3 follwoing grpaes

Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault

Blending partners Carignan, Syrah, Clairette and Ugni Blanc 

 

White wine 

Minimum 50% Clairette Blanc, Bourboulenc, Ugni Blanc

Blending partners Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Rolle

 

 

 

Bellet AOC

 

The vineyards of this appellation are located in Nice, Eastern coast of Provence.

 

Vines are planted at high altitudes 200-300 meters above the Var River

 

Only appellation to allow Chardonnay in the blend 

 

White wine 

Rolle (Vermentino) dominates the blend 

Blending partners Roussan, Blancqueiron, Mayorquin, Chardonnay and muscat a Petit Grains 

 

Red wine

Predomaintly Braguet and Folle Noir 

Blending partners Grenache and Cinsault 

 

Rose Wine 

Rose produced here is famous for its Rose Petal aromas 

The domiant grapes in this blend are Braquet and Folle Noir 

Blending partners Grenache, Cinsault, Bourboulenc, Blanquerion, Clairette, Roussan and Rolle

 

 

 

Coteaux de Pierrevert AOC

 

1998 - Provences newset AOC 

 

Located in North West Provence, this appellation is the most Northernly AOC

 

Average altitudes - 450 meters, Alpine influences

 

Cooler climate in the north and further away from the coast means high dirunals, the highest in all of Provence. 

 

60% Rose 

30% Rose
10% White 

 

White wine 

Minimum 50% Grenache Blanc and/or Rolle (Vermentino)

Blending partners Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Ugni Blanc, Viognier and Piquepoul.

 

Since 1998

No new plantings of the following grapes are allowed, slowly being phased out 

Marsanne, Pipquepol and Mourvedre

 

Rose wine - 50% of Rose must be made using Saignee method (to bleed)

Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah blend

Blending partners Carignan, Mourvedre and Teoiler

20% white varieties are allowed 

 

Red wine 

Minimum 70% Grenache and Syrah 

Blending partners Carginan, Mourvedre and Cinsault

10% white varieties are allowed

 

 

 

IGP Indication Géographique Protégée

 

IGP Mediterranee 

Largest IGP 

Included in this IGP are 2 other regions, The Rone Valley and Corsica

 

53% Red 

34% Rose 

13% White

 

6 Department IGPs 

 

  • IGP Alpes de Haute Provence 

  • IGP Alpes Maritimes 

  • IGP Var

  • IGP Vaucluse

  • IGP Bouches-du-Rhone

  • IGP Hautes Alpes 

 

 

8 IGPs - for Specified areas 

 

  • IGP Aigues

  • IGP Argens 

  • IGP Coteaux du Verdon

  • IGP Sainte Baume

  • IGP Alpilles

  • IGP Principaute d'Orange 

  • IGP Monte Caume 

  • IGP Maures

 

 

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