Alongside spectacular scenery and wonderful food, the South of France has brilliant and world-renowned wine regions. As a result, France is one of the world’s largest wine producers and French wine is adored across the globe. Naturally, this attracts many visitors and individuals interested in French wine and looking to understand more of the southern wine regions.
Here at Le Mas Candille, we boast a wonderful location in southeastern France, and we encounter many visitors looking to experience some lovely wines during their stay with us. Bordeaux is a famous southern French wine-region that often overpowers other wonderful wine regions in France, but there are other areas that have a lot to offer the wine industry. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a wine connoisseur and are interested in discovering more about the other Southern French Wine regions, all will be told in this blog post. Grab a glass and let’s delve in!
Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur – Southeastern France
Our nearby neighbour, Provence, is a wonderful wine region on the French Riviera and home to many southern France wine sub-regions. As our previous blog post explains, this area produces magnificent, light rosés that have gone from strength to strength in not only flavour, but popularity. In addition to the rosés that have taken off in recent years, the area has traditionally been known for its large production of red wines, with whites being a small minority of the wine produced here.
The Mediterranean climate experienced in Provence means that the region sees a lot of sunshine. In fact, vineyards receive more than double the amount of sunshine needed to ripen grapes. The result is unique and distinct flavours that have given many sub-regions a wonderful wine-producing reputation.
The southern French wine regions within the Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur region includes:
• Côtes de Provence
• Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
• Les Baux-de-Provence
• Coteaux Varois en Provence
• Coteaux de Pierrevert
Côtes de Provence
Côtes de Provence is the biggest wine region in Provence and is likely a place that you have heard of, thanks to its fantastic reputation of producing the Côtes de Provence rosé wines that are known for their clear-salmon colour and light bodies. Production of rosé makes up 80% of the wine produced here, but reds and some whites are also produced. The rosés are wonderfully light, fresh, and fruity, and the reds are full-bodied.
Various grape varieties define the wine produced in this area. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Cinsault, and Syrah are the main grape varieties used in Côtes de Provence rosés and reds. Clairette, Rolle, Sémillion and Ugni Blanc grape varieties produce the small proportion of white wines produced in the area. Côtes de Provence wines are a particular favourite of ours, so be sure to join us for a glass during your stay with us.
The second largest region within this area of France is Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, which mainly produces red wines and rosés and a small proportion of white. Situated further west than fellow Provençal wine regions, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinaut, and Counoise are the major grape varieties, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon which has been more recently introduced to the region.
Les Baux-de-Provence, a beautiful and small village on a hilltop within the Alpilles hills, produces much of the same grape varieties as Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence. Baux-de-Provence wine is largely red with distinct aromas taken from its rural hilltop surroundings, including herbs and olives. Whites are more rarely produced here and up until recent years, weren’t produced at all.
Vineyards in Bandol are famous for their production of red wines, which are made from a high proportion of Mourvèdre – the only French wine made from predominantly Mourvèdre. As a result of this powerful grape variety, Bandol wines are rich and full of character and have earned quite a name for themselves.
Unlike the previous southeastern French-wine producing regions, Cassis produces mostly white wine. Known for its beautiful dry flavour, Cassis’ wine production is characterised by the limestone soil in the area, which helps to develop a full-bodied white with little acidity.
Coteaux Varois is in central Provence and experiences a slightly different climate to many of its other Provençal neighbours, thanks to the mountains that shelter the region. Due to the lower temperatures experienced in this region, vineyards are harvested at a much later date than the regions previously mentioned. The grape varieties include Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Carignan, which are used to produce rosé, red, and a small proportion of white.
Coteaux de Pierrevert
Situated in the alpine foothills is the region of Coteaux de Pierrevert, home to a selection of villages in northern Provence and another southern French wine producer. Experiencing hot Mediterranean temperatures in the summer, which are then contrasted with cold winters, the wines produced here have a distinctive acidity alongside rich flavours.
Known as the urban appellation of Nice is Bellet, a region of wines that are known by locals but rarely reach outside of its local French area, and a particular favourite of ours here at Le Mas Candille. Visitors to Nice are able to enjoy and appreciate Bellet wines during their stay, but these wines are rarely encountered further afield. Braquet, Folle Noir, and Cinsault grape varieties define a large proportion of the red and rosé wines produced from Bellet, with Rolle, Roussane and Spagnol being the primary varieties used to produce whites.
Lastly, another of the Southern France wine regions in Provence is Palette. A single producer, Chateau Simone, owns around half of the vineyards in this small region, dominating much of the wine production from this area. The characteristic defining the wine from this region is the extensive list of grape varieties used in each of the wines, with a minimum of 16 in whites and 15 in reds.
Where to Go Wine Tasting in France
From this blog post, it’s quite clear than Southern France has a lot to offer those who love and appreciate good wine. For those wishing to taste and explore different types of French wine, we can offer just that at Le Mas Candille. Situated in the picturesque Cote D’Azur, we offer a unique and unforgettable wine tasting experience here at the hotel. Additionally, we offer some wonderful French wines alongside an unforgettable dining experience with us, directly from our wine cellar. Featured wines come from a variety of French regions, Provence included.