The ideal holiday region of France: lots of sun, the sea and rosé. But the provence offers more. In addition to the beautiful interior, there are also increasingly beautiful red and white wines to discover

The provence covers several departments from Avignon to the Mediterranean and from Arles to the Italian border. Due to its vastness, one can find many different landscapes from low plateaus to mountains with steep slopes.

The climate is highly acclaimed: mild and largely subtropical. The bottom is extremely varied, you can see almost every imaginary surface here. From loam to sand, from pebble to granite.

In Provence, a variety of grape varieties are grown: the red grapes carignan, cinsault, grenache, mourverdre and tibouren. And the white grape clairette, semillon, ugni blanc and rolle. In addition, there is an emergence of syrah and cabernet sauvignon.

Bandol and Palette offer exceptional wines. And Domaine de Trevallon from the Coteaux D'Aix de Provence also always offers very fine wines that can be kept for a very long time.

But Provence is of course best known for its rosé wines. Domaine Ott and Chateau D’Esclans are among the well-known and very good quality rosé wines.

All wines in Provence

The history of wines from Provence

Provence’s winemaking history spanning over 2,600 years. Their legacy begins as the first Roman province beyond Italy's borders, settled by Phoenicians, Greeks, and diverse ancient civilizations. Grape production expanded beginning in the High Middle Ages. 

The terroir of Provence wines

Provence is located along France's coast in the south east with its Mediterranean climate It exhibits remarkable diversity, showcasing nearly every conceivable surface which spans from loamy to sandy, from pebbled to granite textures. You can find Vineyards like Château Barbanau at high altitudes of over 300 meters above sea level. With rolling landscapes and no coastal plains, it stretches from the Rhône's expansive reach to the sea. Where rivers veer westward, the sea's impact lessens, while imposing ridges amplify the Mistral wind. Water scarcity is a risk despite its coastal adjacency and is addressed amongst others by an intricate canal system.

Long dry summers alleviate rot and vine disease concerns for most growers but the maturation of red grapes can be challenging because of the prolonged growing season. The region's climate is shaped by winds like the mistral which prevents fungal diseases. There are risks of grape and vine damage due to violent spring and fall storms amidst an otherwise favourable summer.

The grapes of Provence wines

Provence produces a wide variety of grapes, including Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Rolle for white wines. Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Tibouren take over regarding red and also rosé wines. There's also a growing presence of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

Classical varieties such as Barbaroux (Sardinia's Barbarossa), Calitor, and Carignan give way to commercial varieties such as Syrah, Grenache, and even Cabernet Sauvignon, following a trend witnessed in nearby Languedoc-Roussillon. Simultaneously, local grapes like Vermentino (or Rolle called by locals), Tibouren, and Mourvèdre remained popular.

The classifications of Provence wines

Almost all of the region's wine output originates from 4 regional appellations, namely Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Coteaux de Pierrevert, Coteaux Varois en Provence, and Côtes de Provence. The other appellations are Les Baux-de-Provence, Bandol, Ballet, Cassis, Palette, which are AOCs that include one or more communes.

The appelations are:

  • Coteaux d'Aix en Provence (AOC). This region is ranked second largest and is greatly affected by the Mistral. The wind contributes to the unique character of Provence's wines, influencing factors such as grape ripening and vineyard management practices. Quality varies extensively, from ordinary to exceptional, with renowned estates like Revelette and Vignelaure standing out.
  • Côtes de Provence (AOC). This area resents an even more diverse landscape with evolving subzones like Sainte-Victoire. It is known for lowered crop yields and distinct grapes, notably in favour of Mourvèdre. It is both the largest AOC and wine producer in the province.
  • Coteaux Varois en Provence (AOP). This location in the midst of Provence where numerous meso-climates are found due to the mountainous terrain. It covers the hinterland north of Toulon and boasts high-altitude vineyards. White wine production is primary based on the grape variety Rolle, however the production of rosé reigns supreme, made from Cinsualt, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Syrah.


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