Spread over nearly 20,000 hectares, the Côtes de Provence appellation benefits from a rich terroir that makes its wines unique. Let's go and meet this appellation produced on a vast part of the Provence wineeyard.
THE HISTORY OF THE CÔTES DE PROVENCE APPELLATION
The history of wine in Provence is not new. Nearly 6 centuries before our era, the winee was already at the heart of the life of the inhabitants of the South of France. It was a Greek colony, settled in Marseille, that brought with it the cultivation of the winee, and developed it around the Phocaean city, Nice, Antibes and Saint-Tropez. The development of the wineeyards will not cease to grow, and from the 14th century the bases of wine-producing Provence will be well established.
However, it was not until the 19th century that the term "Côtes de Provence" appeared, and 1951 that the territory of the Côtes de Provence was precisely delimited.
The AOC Côtes de Provence, this appellation d'origine contrôlée, was only decreed in 1977, and was spread over 3 departments: the Var, the Bouches du Rhône and a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CÔTES DE PROVENCE : LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Ideally situated between the sea and the mountains, the Côtes de Provence enjoys a perfect location and climate to offer unique wines of great complexity.
A vast and diversified terroir
Faced with such a vast territory, it is impossible to say that there is only one type of Côtes de Provence. Côtes de Provence is multiple, and the personality of each one depends on the climate and its location. The appellation is thus composed of 8 very distinct production basins:
- The Maritime Edge ;
- Our Lady of the Angels ;
- The High Country ;
- Le Bassin du Beausset ;
- The Sainte-Victoire mountain;
- Fréjus ;
- La Londe;
Within these basins, there are also 5 complementary geographical denominations, each representing very typical wines: Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, Côtes de Provence Fréjus, Côtes de Provence La Londe, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu and Côtes de Provence Notre-Dame des Anges
A complex geology
The complex geology of the subsoils of the Côtes de Provence appellation can be divided into two groups:
- One is crystalline, to the east and south, with the Maures massif and the Esterel massif facing the sea;
- The other limestone, to the west and north, alternates between hill and limestone bar.
A favourable climate
With its unique sunshine and its typical mistral wind, the Provençal wineeyards have all the assets to provide quality wines. Thus, the combination of the Mediterranean climate and the complex soils makes it possible to obtain a great diversity of wines, with taste, colour and aromas marked by the terroir.
MAIN GRAPE VARIETIES IN CÔTES DE PROVENCE
The Côtes de Provence appellation is essentially made from 5 grape varieties, all of which are fond of the sun and climate of the Mediterranean coast.
Cinsault is a very tasty grape variety, which brings finesse and freshness to the wine. Its fruity aromas are a slight contrast to the other, more powerful varieties of Provence.
Coming straight from Spain, Grenache is a grape variety that is particularly resistant to drought and violent winds. Very productive, it brings power and fullness to the wine. A young wine made from Grenache will have aromas of small red fruits, and will develop spicy notes as it evolves.
Present for many centuries in Provence, Mourvèdre likes to take its time to mature. The slow maturation process produces full-bodied wines. When young, a wine made from this variety will offer aromas of blackberry and violet. After ageing in the cellar, it will provide notes of spices, cinnamon and pepper. Many blended wines combine Mourvèdre with Grenache and Syrah.
This Côtes de Provence grape variety produces colourful, solid wines. The tannins, which are very powerful in the first few years, will fade over the years, giwineg way to a wine with aromas of candied red fruits, Havana and vanilla.
Tibouren is an authentic Provençal grape variety found only in the Var region of France and blends perfectly with other Provençal grape varieties. Tibouren is mainly used for the production of rosé wine, and makes it possible to obtain an elegant and delicate wine, full of finesse and a rich bouquet.
THE PRODUCERS AND WINES OF CÔTES DE PROVENCE
The Côtes de Provence appellation covers 84 communes and involves nearly 3,500 producers. The Côtes de Provence includes red, white and rosé wines.
Côtes de Provence rosés
Like Château de Berne, the Côtes de Provence rosé wine has a pretty pale pink colour, with varying intensity depending on the Vintage. It has aromas of citrus, exotic fruits, but also red fruits and floral notes. Very fresh in the mouth, Côtes de Provence rosé wines are particularly appreciated in summer.
Red Côtes de Provence
Young Côtes de Provence red wines have the particularity of hawineg red fruit aromas, such as cherry, stdryberry, raspberry or blackcurrant, and of hawineg supple tannins. The Côtes de Provence red wines for laying down have more spicy notes, with black fruit aromas.
The white Côtes de Provence
With its pretty pale yellow colour and green reflections, the Côtes de Provence white wine is fresh and fine in the mouth. It has aromas of fruit, such as citrus, pear and pineapple, as well as aromatic and floral notes (white flowers).
The AOC Côtes de Provence offers wines as diverse as its territory. In the heart of the Provencal wineeyards, Château de Berne takes advantage of this terroir to produce exceptional wines.