Nowhere else do the aromas of the wines reflect the area so intensely. The bouquet exudes scents of lavender, thyme, rosemary and other wild herbs. An El Dorado for wines at reasonable prices.
Wines from Provence enjoyed an excellent reputation in the 14th and 15th centuries, but while other wine regions advanced, Provence steadily declined in importance. By the mid-1970s there were only four AOC areas in the whole of Provence: Cassis and Bandol on the coast, Palette outside Aix, and Bellet north of Nice. The other districts in the area produced only basic table wines. Starting in 1977, several larger districts obtained AOC and AOVDQS status: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux Varois, and Coteaux des Baux in the west.
Starting to the east of the Rhône estuary, Provence – 100 kilometres long, 50 kilometres wide – stretches towards Cannes.
Hot and sunny, with a good 3,000 hours of sunshine per year – though Provence can be hit by violent cloudbursts and storms.
The wines are red, white and rosé. The reds, with their wide range of flavours, will continue to be the most interesting in the future. With a few exceptions, the whites are mostly low in acidity and flat. The rosé wines are rightly the best-known.
58 varieties are approved. The main reds are Grenache, Carignan, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre and Syrah, while the whites are Bourboulenc, Clairette, Ugni blanc, Granche blanc, Vermentino and other local varieties.
Vineyard area and production volume
About 43,000 hectares, almost 2 million hectolitres per year.