The vineyard seems to have always been present in the history of France. It was in Provence that the first feet of vines were cultivated, making the region the cradle of good wines that make the country renown. But let's discover more precisely theHistory of Provence wine.
The origins of Provence wine
The history of wine dates back more than 26 centuries, and begins in Provence. It was in Marseille that the first vine feet are planted, at the initiative of Phocaeans intrigued by this new plant. We can therefore say that the whole First French vineyard was in Provence.
Then in -200 BC. AD, the Romans come to settle on Provencal land to develop the vine culture, and create the Provincial Romana, in other words, La Provence. As their conquests progressed, the Romans take the vine with them, then extending the vineyards throughout French territory. This is how other vineyards have emerged, as is the case of Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Rhône, Gascogne and Bordeaux valley.
The culture of the vine by the monks and the nobility
The fall of the Roman Empire stopped the culture of the vine, then abandoning all the vineyards, hitherto prosperous. It is only in the Middle Ages that viticulture will resume service, at the initiative of the major monastic orders. If, at the beginning, the Wine manufacturing was intended for the mere consumption of monks, and for the production of mass wine, very quickly the wine will be marketed. This activity will then greatly contribute to the income of monastic establishments.
It was not until 1300 that Provencal vineyards will be taken up and managed by noble families and great officers of the royal army. Here, the beginnings of the Modern Viticole Provence, as we know it today.
The phylloxera crisis vastatrix
The Provence vineyard, like all the vineyards of France, will not be spared by the phylloxera vastatrix crisis, from 1880. This insect, from the United States, will be able to destroy almost all of the Provençal vineyard. Fortunately, by a learned technique of plant transplants resistant to phylloxera, the vineyard can be saved, and will gradually regain its presence.
On the road to Provence Wines
To promote the region and wine activity, many winegrowers have mobilized since the 20th century to make Discover Provence to the rest of the world. One of the most remarkable tourist initiatives is undeniably the Provence Wine Route.
The principle of the Vins de Provence route
Not so long ago, in 2006, the Var Chamber of Agriculture decided to promote the Oenological tourism in Provence By creating a wine route. This is an opportunity to walk in the region, and to browse various wine estates, at the Discovery of their wines and some Provencal gastronomy.
Classified by theme, each route of wine offers a route putting wine in the spotlight, but also the heritage and the art of living in Provence.
Extended on the Bouches-du-Rhône, the Var and the Alpes-Maritimes, the 440 Cooperative Domains and Caves of Provence Committed to the process revolves around 8 controlled names of origin (AOC): Le Baux de Provence, Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, Var hillsides in Provence, Palette, Cassis, Bandol and Bellet.
Wine roads in Provence
Distributed throughout Provence, no less than 44 Provence Wine Roads are offered to visitors. The choice can then be made on the theme (romantic getaway, art and culture, with family, gastronomy ...), the territory (Camargue, Verdon, Provence Verte ...), the vineyard, the AOC, or simply on the area geographical.
The idea is then to combine pleasures, to offer an entertaining promenade and full of discoveries. The visitor has all the leisure, for example, to discover the more glamorous and emblematic city of the Côte d'Azur, Saint-Tropez, then to sink a little into the land and find what nature offers more , by visiting the Provence Ultimate Domaine.
Many areas of the Wine Route also offer quality catering and accommodation services. This makes it possible to organize a route of wines over several days, and to dive entirely in the atmosphere of the vineyard, and to discover its history, its vintages, its grape varieties, or its methods of manufacturing and conservation.
You would like to go to the Discovery of Provence vineyards ? Discover on the website of Berne Castle, which offers oenological activities on the theme of wine.