Regional Wine Tours
Aix en Provence, Bandol & Cassis, Luberon
If you have a special interest in the great wines this region has to offer, a private visit to some of the wineries should be high on your agenda.
As part of your visit we can arrange private wine tours and tastings in several different areas of Provence including Aix en Provence, Bandol & Cassis
Wines of the Region
The wines produced here are mostly rosé, although there are also some very good red wines from Bandol and whites from Cassis. Wines are fruity and fresh and enjoy the influences of the region's location and proximately to the Mediterranean.
Guided by a private wine guide, you will learn about the characteristics of the terroir and the wine-making process while visiting some of the best cellars in the region. We are happy to arrange private visits to allow you to sample a selection of different wines at each winery. With a knowledgeable local wine guide and a personalised service, our private tours can accommodate up to 8 people.
We offer you a private pick up & drop off at your location, and our private tours can be customised to your schedule. We can also adapt the itinerary to your specific interest and offer visits to some wineries not usually open to the general public.
Côtes de Provence
The largest AOC, and the biggest producer with about 75% of wine production of which 89% is Rosé. Many think of “Côtes de Provence” as boring, but actually, it’s the opposite. Just get to know a bit about the various areas and sub-regions and you’ll appreciate the wide variety of wines and styles that reflect their unique terroirs. There are four geographical “Sub Regions” in the Côtes de Provence and they’re easy to identify as they are allowed to add their names to the label.
Coteaux d’Aix en Provence
Second in size, this region is heavily influenced by the famous Mistral winds. The vineyards here date back as far as 600 BC and were prized by the Royal Courts of Europe in the 15th century. Today, Rosé is king and is usually a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah and Counoise.
Along the Mediterranean coast of Provence, just east of Marseille, the steep, white limestone cliffs of the Massif des Calanques meet the sea and this is where you find the very first AOC of Provence Cassis. Cassis is the region of Provence for white wines which have a wonderful elegance and intense aromas of citrus, peach, honey and dried herbs.
If Cassis is all about whites, then its neighbor to the east is the perfect opposite. The hillside vineyards form a natural amphitheatre where the terraces are supported by walls made of river stone called ‘restanques’. Bandol produces amazing whites from Clairette blended with Ugni Blanc or Bourbouenc, and structured, flavorful rose but its signature wines are the rich, intense, red wines made with up to 95% Mourvedre and aged in oak for at least 18 months.
Coteaux Varois de Provence
This region is located in the middle of Provence and features undulating limestone mountain ranges so there is a multitude of ‘mecro-climates’. Vineyards at these slightly higher altitudes are cooler so the grapes benefit from longer, slower ripening, giving the finished wines good acidity, complex flavours and structure. Rosés rule, crafted from Cinsualt, Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah with whites dominated by Rolle.
Les Baux de Provence
Probably the hottest part of Provence; so hot it’s home to the Val d’Enfer. Vineyards lie on the hillsides of the Alpilles mountains and, although the climate and rugged terrain are inhospitable, it’s perfect for grapes. The region is also perfect for biodynamic and organic viticulture. Les Baux also sets itself apart by producing predominantly red wines, with Granache, Syrah, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon taking centre stage.
Nestled below Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and coming in at only 100 acres, Palette is the smallest AOC of Provence. There is mandatory ageing of 18 months in oak and many find the wines similar to those of Bandol.
The vineyards of Bellet dot the steep hillsides surrounding the city of Nice on the far eastern edge of Provence. This is another area that uses some uncommon grape varietals. The dominant white varietal is Rolle and it’s the only AOC in Provence that is allowed to use Chardonnay. The Rosé from Bellet has a distinctive aroma of rose petals!
Pierrevert is most northerly of the Provence AOCs. Located in the Alpes de Haute Provence, next to the Luberon. Rosé is a big deal here, made from the same varietals as the reds but it differs from the other parts of Provence. The rules of the area dictate that a minimum of 50% of the wine must be made in the ‘saignée’ method, the only place where this technique is allowed.