Provence: A peek into Wine Regions

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Provence, France

Provence is blessed with a fantastic climate, especially for grapes. The region gets lots of sunshine and not too much rain with warm days and cool evenings. The Mediterranean moderates the temperatures and the famous “Mistral” wind keeps the vineyards dry, free of pests and the skies clear.

The geography is diverse with numerous mountain ranges that texture the landscape providing gentle slopes and sheltered valleys. The soils are diverse as well. Limestone rules in the western part of Provence where the land was once covered by a warm, shallow ancient sea. Travel east and the soil is mostly chrystalline schist (granite) and, in one small area, volcanic.

Total planted area: (Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux Varois): 27,000 hectares

Famous for: Rosé wines

 

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White Wine Grapes

  • Rolle
  • Ugni Blanc
  • Bourboulenc
  • Clairette
  • Marsanne
  • Roussanne
  • Grenache Blanc

Also familiar are the Bordeaux varieties of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, which are sanctioned in some regions. Regional grapes such as Pascal, Terret Blanc, Spagnol (aka Mayorquin) and Pignerol are still used but are quickly vanishing.

 

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Red Wine Grapes

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Photo credits to: Wine Folly

Within Provence, there are also certain categorization and sub-regions, namely:

  • Cotes de Provence
  • Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
  • Coteaux Varois
  • Les Baux de Provence
  • Cassis
  • Bandol
  • Palette
  • Bellet
  • Pierrevert

The largest AOC, Cotes de Provence, takes up about 75% of the wine production in Provence. Of which, 89% is the Rosé wine. Because of the region’s size, there are a variety of influences at work: differences in climate, altitude of vineyards, soils and rainfall.

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