Wine production in Provence dates back to at least 600 BC, making it the oldest wine regions in all of France. The many cultures which inhabited Provence during its millennia—including the Greeks, Romans, Gauls, and Catalans—have each influenced the region’s wine-making process. The diverse settlements also gave rise to a diverse range of grapes being cultivated, including Greek, Spanish, and Italian varietals, but with French still being the most prominent.
While some in the wine community consider Provence’s spicy, full-bodied, reds to be the best wines of the region, Provence is by far most well-known for its rosé. 88% of Provençal wine production is dedicated to rosé, and a research institute devoted to the style can be found here. White wine is also produced in small quantities throughout the region, but with the AOC of Cassis specialising in its production.
Provence experiences a classic Mediterranean climate, with mild winters followed by very warm summers and little rainfall. Plentiful sunshine sees grapevines receiving over 3,000 hours per year, twice the amount needed for full ripening. The strong mistral wind from the North provides cools the grapes from the heat and dries grapes after rain.
Photograph by x1klima via Flickr.com. Used through a Creative Commons licence.