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Home Wine Regions French Wine Regions - Provence

French Wine Regions - Provence

Provence is a wine growing region that is located by the Mediterranean Sea, in between Nice, Marseille, and Avignon. While wine making in this region doesn't date back as far as it does in many other Mediterranean regions, 2,600 years of wine production is nothing to take for granted. While miniscule in comparison to the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, the Provence wine region is still quite large with over 68,000 acres of active wine grape growing and more than five hundred wineries.

The same conditions that provide great wine in other regions are present here. So soils that drain easily, mild winters, hot summers, and adequate water are present. Surprisingly, wine from the Provence region was considered inferior until the last generation. In the last generation improved methods have taken full advantage of the local climate to produce great Provence wines.

More than 75% of the wine grapes grown in Provence are for rosé. So more than 100 million bottles of rosé wine is produced here annually. This is nearly half of the rosé produced in all of France. But that still means that millions of bottles are produced here each year of a variety of other wines.

The Mediterranean hillsides found between Toulon and La Ciotat are used to grow Bandol vines. These vineyards date back to early Rome. Bandol has been exported to India and Brazil from this area for more than 200 years.

The popular red Mourvèdre with a spicy flavor is known for its full body. But it is a rare and special drink, with only five million bottles produced annually.

Some even more rare and sought wines come from the Bellet area, where grapes are grown on steep hillsides and must be grown and picked by workers with gifted climbing skills. Only about 80,000 bottles of wine are produced here each year, ranging from fragrant white wines to delicate red wines. Braquet red wine grown here can be aged for 10 years. The white wines from here are said to have a sweet honey taste that is a perfect complement to either Banon cheese or shellfish.

If you're visiting the area, you'll want to see the Château Sainte Roseline. This 300 acre vineyard is seven centuries old. Eleven wine grape varieties are grown here to make some of the finest versions of French wine that can be found, not only in the Provence wine region, but worldwide.