Winemaking in Provence dates back to centuries before the Romans. To this day diverse grape varietals such as bourboulenc, chardonnay, and marsanne thrive in the fertile soils; the region’s rosés are wildly popular. Here are a few pro tips to keep in mind when wine tasting in Provence.
From the Rhône River valley in the west to the Côte d’Azur in the east, the hills of Provence are crisscrossed with ancient vines that burst forth under the Mediterranean sunshine to produce a diverse range of different grape varietals. Braquet, grenache, and muscardin grapes are popular in the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation for their elegant berry aromas—which work beautifully in the deep red wines for which France is famous. The delicate cinsault grape provides the base for many Provençal rosé wines, while the clairette, sémillion, and ugni blanc (trebbiano in Italy) varietals come to the fore in the lighter white wines.
- Take a wine tour into the Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire or Châteauneuf-du-Pape regions, and learn about French winemaking techniques and history along the way
- Meet local producers and gain insight into the different classifications that set the standard for superior-quality wines
- Soak up the atmosphere along the historic streets of Avignon
- Hike along the Ochre Trail from Roussillon to Bonnieux and Ménerbes, then finish with a wine tasting at a traditional winery
- Combine a wine-tasting tour with a visit to the medieval villages of Les Baux-de-Provence and Gordes, or to top attractions such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct considered a technical and artistic masterpiece