Extended over nearly 20,000 hectares, the Côtes de Provence appellation benefits from a rich terroir that makes the uniqueness of its wines. Let's go to meet this appellation produced on a large part of the Provence vineyard.
The history of the Côtes de Provence appellation
The history of Provence wine is not new. Almost 6 centuries before our era, the vine was already at the heart of the life of the inhabitants of the south of France. It is a Greek colony, installed in Marseille, which will bring with it the culture of the vine, and will develop it around the Marseille city, Nice, Antibes and Saint-Tropez. The development of vineyards will not stop growing, and from the 14th century the bases of wine Provence will be well installed.
However, it was not until the 19th century to see the term "Côtes de Provence" appear, and 1951 that the territory of the Côtes de Provence is precisely delimited.
The AOC Côtes de Provence, this controlled designation of origin, will not be decreed until 1977, and will be distributed over 3 departments: the Var, the Bouches du Rhône and a town in the Alpes-Maritimes.
Characteristics of the Côtes de Provence: location and climate
Ideally located between sea and mountain, the Côtes de Provence takes advantage of a perfect location and climate to offer unique wines to great complexity.
A large and diverse terroir
Faced with such an extent of territory, it is impossible to affirm that there is only one type of Côtes de Provence. The Côtes de Provence is multiple, and the personality of each depends on the climate and its location. The appellation thus consists of 8 very distinct production basins:
- The maritime border;
- Notre-Dame des Anges;
- High country;
- The Beausset basin;
- The Sainte-Victoire mountain;
- The Londe ;
Within these basins, there are also 5 complementary geographic names, representing each very typical wines: Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, Côtes de Provence Fréjus, Côtes de Provence La Londe, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu and Côtes de Provence Notre-Dame Angels.
A complex geology
The complex geology of the subsoil of the terroir of the Côtes de Provence appellation is distinguished in 2 sets:
- One crystalline, east and south, with the Maures massif and the Esterel massif which face the sea;
- The other limestone, to the west and north, which alternates between hill and limestone bar.
A favorable climate
With its unique sunshine and typical mistral, the Provencal vineyard enjoys all the assets to provide quality wines. Thus, the combination of the Mediterranean climate and complex floors makes it possible to obtain a wide variety of vintages, to taste, to the color and to the aromas marked by the terroir.
The main grape varieties in Côtes de Provence
The Côtes de Provence appellation comes mainly from 5 grape varieties, all fond of the sun and the Mediterranean coast climate.
Widely used to develop pink wines, the Cinsault is a tasty grape, which brings finesse and freshness to wine. Its fruity aromas come to qualify the other grape varieties, more powerful.
Coming straight from Spain, Grenache is a grape variety particularly resistant to drought and strong winds. Very productive, it brings power and magnitude to wine. A young wine developed from Grenache will have aromas of red berries, and will develop spicy notes over its evolution.
Present for many centuries in Provence, Mourvèdre likes to take its time to mature. Slow maturation gives carpented wines. Young, a wine from this grape will offer aromas of blackberry and violet. After aging in the cellar, it will provide notes of spice, cinnamon and pepper. Many assembly wines associate the Mourvèdre with Grenache and Syrah.
This Côtes de Provence grape can obtain colorful and solid wines. The tannins, very powerful in the first years, will fade over the years, to make way for a wine with aromas of candied red fruit, Havana and vanilla.
Authentically Provencal, the Tibouren grape variety is only found in the Var and associates wonderfully with the other Provencal grape varieties. The Tibouren is mainly used for the production of rosé wine, and makes it possible to obtain an elegant and delicate wine, full of finesse and with a rich bouquet.
Côtes de Provence producers and wines
The Côtes de Provence appellation covers 84 municipalities, and concerns nearly 3,500 producers. The Côtes de Provence concerns both red wine, white wine and rosé wine.
Côtes de Provence rosés
Like the castle of Bern, the rosé wine Côtes de Provence has a pretty pale pink dress, with variable intensity according to the vintages. There are aromas of citrus, exotic fruits, but also red fruits and floral notes. Very fresh on the palate, Côtes de Provence rosé wines are particularly appreciated in summer.
The Reds Côtes de Provence
Red wines Côtes de Provence de Provence young have the distinction of having aromas of red fruits, such as cherry, strawberry, raspberry or blackcurrant and enjoy flexible tannins. Côtes de Provence Rouge watch wines offer more spicy notes, with aromas of black fruit.
The White Côtes de Provence
With its pretty pale yellow dress and green reflections, the white Côtes de Provence wine is fresh and fine in the mouth. There are aromas of fruit, such as citrus fruits, pear, pineapple, as well as aromatic and floral notes (white flowers).
The AOC Côtes de Provence offers wines as diverse as its territory. At the heart of the Provençal vineyard, the Berne Castle takes advantage of this terroir to develop exceptional wines.