The wines of Provence and The Rhône

 Wine tourism in Provence – Rhône Valley

A day without wine is a day without sunshine!

Provencal proverb

Provence has been a wine-growing land from time immemorial. It was the Greeks that first planted vines in southern Gaul in the 5th century BC. Today, the generous soil of the South produces red, white and rosé wines.

The region of Avignon in the Luberon is the homeland of the Côtes-du-Rhône wines and their prestigious, vigorous and full-bodied reds such as Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Rasteau. This is also the growing ground for the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, elected best wines of the world, with their powerful and firm reds and supple, ample whites! the sweet Côtes-du-Rhône wines, such as Beaumes-de-Venise and Rasteau, are the perfect accompaniment to foie gras and biscuits.

Take time to explore the exceptional Côtes-du-Rhône wine growing area! From Gigondas, a perched village overlooking the vineyards topped with ancient ruins, you can reach the superb “Dentelles de Montmirail” cliffs with their lacy silhouette. Don’t miss a stop-off in Séguret, one of France’s most beautiful villages perched on a hillside, and Vacqueyras standing on a rocky outcrop. Next stop is Orange to visit its Roman theatre and Arc de Triomphe, Unesco World Heritage Sites. The Roman Theatre in Orange is the best preserved in Europe. It chiefly owes its fame to its magnificent stage wall, in surprisingly good condition and unique in the western world. It was a major centre for shows in Roman times and still attracts huge numbers of music lovers from all over the world with its Chorégies Opera Festival.

You next go to Rasteau and Cairanne. Climb up to the top of the village to contemplate the vines stretching as far as the eye can see… Vaison-la-Romaine with its Roman ruins, the largest site in France for Roman archaeological excavations is another must. On your way, you will come across a number of cooperative wine cellars and chateaux offering a warm welcome and of course – wine tasting!

Provence has been a wine-growing land from time immemorial. It was the Greeks that first planted vines in southern Gaul in the 5th century BC. Today, the generous soil of the South produces red, white and rosé wines.

2,616 YEARS OF ROSÉ, THE WORLD’S VERY FIRST WINE…

Throughout Antiquity, due to trade and invasion, knowledge and awareness of wine spread across the Mediterranean.
When the Phocaeans washed up on Provence’s coast in 600 BC, they founded Marseille and ventured deeper into the region, bringing with them their wine culture and ships stocked with ‘light-coloured’ wines which Provence would go on to hone over the centuries, ultimately resulting in the world’s best rosés. Today, Provençal rosé is a symbol of the human warmth and friendship that blossoms when Provençal locals meet to share a glass or two before dinner, swapping stories as they sip…
www.vinsdeprovence.com

Further south, you will also find AOC Ventoux and Luberon vineyards. More than half the villages here make wine.

But Provence is famed for its Côtes-de-Provence wines and, in particular, its rosé wines, best drunk chilled in summer under a pretty bower… Ideal for sharing with friends, these friendly and fuss-free wines also accompany gastronomic, casual and world cuisine to perfection.

Provence’s rosé wines are synonymous with simplicity and sincere, spontaneous pleasure. They represent a new and more casual approach to appreciating wine. You will get the opportunity to taste a host of different rosés during your travels from Arles to the gates to Nice this itinerary is simply bursting with great surprises.

From the foot of Sainte-Victoire mountain so dear to Cézanne, you can head on to Rousset through the landscapes portrayed by the artist. From the little port of Cassis, surrounded by cliffs, climb up to the vineyards overlooking the coastal fjords known as the “calanques”. Another port awaits you a few kilometres further on: Bandol, with its lively atmosphere and world-acclaimed red wines. Set on a rocky spur, the charming village of La Cadière d’Azur just down the road offers stunning panoramic views over the vines.

Next, you will carry on to the mythical port of Saint-Tropez via the vine-filled area we call Provence verte. If you have time, stop off at the all-organic village of Correns to sample the local organic wines!

Last but not least, if you want to get a different angle of the region, numerous service providers offer fun and novel wine discovery tours, ranging from electric bike itineraries to guided walks. You can also opt for a “pairing food and wine” class, or simply enjoy staying at a chateau – there are plenty of ways to get to know France’s oldest vineyards!

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