Provence is often synonymous with sunshine, lavender fields, olive groves and singing cicadas. But Provence also has vineyards as far as the eye can see, which produce up to 160 million bottles of wine each year. Its great specialty is undoubtedly rosé wine, which represents almost 90% of annual production, and 35% of national production, and which makes Provence famous throughout the world. Let's discover the major appellations of Provence wines .
The Provençal climate: a privilege for the vine
The Provençal vineyards stretch over several departments of Provence. The vines then benefit from the Mediterranean climate , which is essentially characterized by hot and dry winds (notably the Mistral), strong sunshine, and low precipitation. These are the ideal conditions for producing exceptional Provence wines , and offering the vines everything they need to flourish, and to be protected from diseases and pests.
On this sunny terroir, nearly 600 wine producers cultivate more than 28,000 hectares of vines, and benefit from the complex geology of the Provençal vineyard. to produce very varied wines. Limestone or crystalline soils are particularly poor and well drained, which is perfect for this Mediterranean plant.
The 3 AOPs of Provence
The Provençal terroir has 3 major appellations, which represent the majority of the wine production in this region of southern France.
AOP Côtes de Provence
With an area of 20,200 hectares, the Côtes de Provence appellation is the most widespread in this wine-growing region. Spread across 3 departments (Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Alpes-Maritimes), the vineyards have been able to claim the AOC Côtes de Provence since 1977.
Wine producers, whether in private cellars or grouped together in cooperative cellars, produce nearly 868,000 hectoliters of wine , or 116 million bottles.
Since 2005, the appellation has even been broken down into different terroirs, including 5 complementary geographical names :
- Côtes de Provence Sainte Victoire;
- Côtes de Provence La Londe;
- Côtes de Provence Fréjus;
- Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu;
- Côtes de Provence Notre-Dame des Anges.
The AOP Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
Stretching from west to east from the Rhône valley to the Sainte-Victoire mountain, and from north to south, from the Durance to the Mediterranean, the Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence appellation has 4,300 hectares of vines. Each year, 241,000 hectoliters of rosé wines , white wines and red wines are produced there.
The appellation was created in 1985, and highlights the typicality of the terroir dominated by the Mistral and marked by the variety of soil types (sandy, stony clay-limestone and stony).
The Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence vineyard produces rosé wines marked by a floral bouquet and notes of red fruits, citrus fruits and spices.
The Coteaux Varois AOP in Provence
Spread across 28 communes around Brétignolles, the AOP Coteaux Varois en Provence was created in 1993, and produces the equivalent of 18 million bottles of wine each year.
The 3,000 hectares of vines benefit from limestone soil and altitude viticulture to produce complex and expressive wines, with floral notes and fruity aromas of citrus, exotic fruits and red fruits.
The grape varieties of Provence
The designations of origin of Provence are wines made from white grape varieties and black grape varieties particularly suited to the Provençal climate. For the production of red wines and rosé wines, the main grape varieties include Cinsault, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Accessory grape varieties are also used, such as Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon.
As for white grape varieties , Provence wines are essentially made from Rolle (Vermentino), Sémillon, Ugni Blanc and Clairette.
Château de Berne: AOP Côtes de Provence wines that reflect the terroir
In the Provençal hinterland, the Berne estate covers more than 1,000 hectares, 175 of which are devoted to the production of organic wine . This organic vineyard puts the terroir of Provence in the spotlight, producing unique red wines, white wines and rosé wines, marked by the sun and heat.
The AOP Côtes de Provence wines from the Berne estate reflect know-how and a rich terroir. They reveal a beautiful generosity, and fresh and fruity aromas which perfectly highlight Provençal cuisine.
The wines of Provence are the image of the Provençal terroir: vast, rich and generous. There we discover exceptional vintages, like delicious little wines to taste on a hot summer day. Do not hesitate to go to the Domaine du Berne, for a visit to the vineyard in the heart of Provence .