PROVENCE

SAINT TROPEZ 100% CRU CLASSÉ

Nestled in the Golf of Saint Tropez, 3 Cru Classé Wine Estates welcome us on this all-star tour from vineyards near the mythic beaches to the inland landscapes!

In 1955, 23 Provence vineyards were bestowed this honor and today 18 of those same vineyards are still producing these exceptional Wines   Under the “Côtes de Provence” appellation, we will visit Chateau Minuty, Chateau  Saint-Maur and Domaine de la Croix.    Enjoy a gourmet lunch in the vineyards.  You will learn about the different varietals and techniques as we go behind the scenes to understand the process of winemaking of these Mediterranean- climate terroir grapes from the vineyard to your table.

SAINT TROPEZ EXPLORER

Let’s start by exploring a family-owned olive orchard in the morning with the guided tour and sampling of olive oil from 6 different local olives.  We continue via the picturesque seaside roads to Sainte Maxime as you embark on the Mediterranean Sea for this 30-minute boat ride to Saint Tropez.   Depending on the day of your visit, we can choose to stroll through the open-air market, visit the daily fish market, stroll to the Old Port or visit The Citadel in the Old Town  or even discover a Butterfly Museum.  Enjoy lunch in the heart of Saint Tropez as we sample various local specialties.

We continue to the lovely village of Gassin destination Domaine La Rouillère where a visit in the vineyards awaits.   5 Varietals go into the making of these wines that we will taste in 3 colors: Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Rolle.  Next the  “Maitres Vignernons of the Presque Ile of the Golf of Saint Tropez” have reserved a special surprise from their very own collection of local partner-chateaux and domaines where we will enjoy guided tours and tastings explaining history of the Estate and the  different steps that go into transforming the grapes into ‘libations of the Gods’.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE HERITAGE & HISTORY

Côte de Provence is the largest appellation in terms of production volume and boasts 4 sub-appellations 3 of which are inlcuded on this tour : Côtes de Provence Frejus, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu and Côtes de Provence La Londe.  Our first stop in the heart of Provence is the historic  Château St Julien d’Aille situated on 80 hectares dating back to the Roman Ages.  With a choice of  2 of the 3 following  Cru Classé vineyards such as Domaine Ott’s 1st of their 3 estates, Château de Selle,  Château Sainte Marguerite or Château de la Clapière  explore the heritage of these prestigious winemakers.  We can also witness architecture varying from ultra-modern minimalist tasting rooms to Royal British influence-dominated  destinations.  If you are looking or art and armor, then it’s off to the 13th Century winery La Commanderie de Peyrassol founded by the Order of the Templiers.  On Thursday evenings  fining by enjoying the Summer Wine-Gourmet evening with a Cuban beat starting at 6:30pm. ( Exceptionally only 1 Cru classé Estate will be visited on Thursdays).

We will visit three wineries and taste three colors of wine.  The wineries may vary depending on the day of your visit.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE LA COMMANDERIE DE PEYRASSOL

Côte de Provence is the largest appellation in terms of production volume and boasts 4 sub-appellations 3 of which are inlcuded on this tour : Côtes de Provence Frejus, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu and Côtes de Provence La Londe.  Our first stop in the heart of Provence is the historic  Château St Julien d’Aille situated on 80 hectares dating back to the Roman Ages.  With a choice of  2 of the 3 following  Cru Classé vineyards such as Domaine Ott’s 1st of their 3 estates, Château de Selle,  Château Sainte Marguerite or Château de la Clapière  explore the heritage of these prestigious winemakers.  We can also witness architecture varying from ultra-modern minimalist tasting rooms to Royal British influence-dominated  destinations.  If you are looking or art and armor, then it’s off to the 13th Century winery La Commanderie de Peyrassol founded by the Order of the Templiers.  On Thursday evenings  fining by enjoying the Summer Wine-Gourmet evening with a Cuban beat starting at 6:30pm. ( Exceptionally only 1 Cru classé Estate will be visited on Thursdays).

We will visit three wineries and taste three colors of wine.  The wineries may vary depending on the day of your visit.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE FREJUS

Located on the eastern side of Provence, halfway between Toulon and Nice, the vineyards of this appellation created in 2005 are situated on the following communes: La Motte, Le Muy, Puget-sur-Argens, Roquebrun-sur-Argens, Saint-Raphaêl and Fréjus.   The home to Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, rosé wine accounts for 75% of this appellation and the remaining 25% of the wines are red.  For white wine lovers, not to worry, there will be fruity and floral whites  to taste as well but those bottles are labeled “Côtes de Provence”.  the Provence Wine Tour Collection, features 3 stars of this appellation: Domaine de la Bouverie for a workshop for initiation to learn the best way to taste wines.   Continue on to Clos des Roses for a commented wine tasting and lunch at the Bastide Close des Roses and take a moment to feel the calm and serenity under the century-old pine tree near the Chapelle.  Château Paquette, situated on rich volcanic soil, is not only pleased to present their wines for commented tasting but also offers a 2km walk by the vineyards as an option before the excursion concludes.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE PIERREFEU

The Pierrefeu terroir, recognized and denominated for their quality in 2013, are situated in the western area of the Côtes de Provence, bordered on the south by the Massif des Maures and north by limestone plateaus.  There are 12 communes authorized to produce wine under this appellation : Carqueiranne, Cuers, La Farlède, La Garde, La Valette, Le Pradet, Pierrefeu, Puget-Ville et Sollies Pont and portions of La Crau, Carnoulès, and Collobrières.  Known as the Golden Triangle of Provence, this area is famous for their red clay and pebble soil.  AOC Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu produces wine in 2 colors. Reds are produced here from major varietals: Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache and are rosés from:  Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache.  Tibouren is lesser known French varietal which is only grown in the Var and is often a winemaker’s choice for rosés adding an elegant touch.   To start the day, let’s visit an olive oil producer for a commented visit through the orchards and a tasting to understand this ancient process.  Our Provence Wine Tour Collection has 3 family-vineyards on this intinerary for our commented tastings and the first is the Château de l’Aumérade Cru Classé.  Choose from a wine tasting workshop featuring 3 colors of wine from this family vineyard, a visit of the cellars & gardens or a stroll in the vineyards after your tasting!  Take advantage of the scenery as we head for lunch at the largest naturel beach in Carqueianne, Pradon Beach. The afternoon continues to discover Chateau La Tour de l’Evéque, acquired in 1958 which has been producing organic wines since 2008.  This historic property used to be the summer home to the Bishops of Toulon!   Last but not least, Château Montaud situated on an ancient Roman settlement with its 2000 years of history has been home to the Ravel family sine 1951 producing wines that respect low yields, no irrigation and precise harvesting parameters.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE LA LONDE 100% CRU CLASSE

Situated between the Massif des Maures and the Mediterranean Sea is the home to the wines produced under the AOC Côtes de Provence La Londe appellation the wineries producing under this appletation face the” Golden Islands”:  Porquerolles, Port-Cros et Le Levant.   4 communes make up this terroir: Bormes les Mimosas (partially), La Crau (partially), Hyères and La Londe des Maures.  Low rainfall levels and the sea-side marine layer provide for sunny but windy weather conditions as the vines ripen.   Established in 2008, it is the core appellation of Côtes de Provence where 75% of the wines produced are rosé and the remaining 25% are red. White wines produced in this tiny region are commercialized under the Côtes de Provence label.  Cinsault and Grenache are the main varietals in the rosé and the well-known term” GSM” standing for Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, is the main varietal blend for the reds.  The white wines are made from Vermentino and in Provence known as “Rolle”. In this area, we will see the “phyllade” terroir, the ancient rocky outcrop contains no limestone, but shale.  On this tour, 100% Cru Classé, we will show you the well-known Chateau du Galoupet.  Acquired by LVMH in 2019 and their 4th vineyard, this estate sprawls over 165 hectares of which 72 hectares are reserved for the vineyards.  Constructed in the 18th century, Château de la Clapière offers.  This is where British history combines with the French Cru Classé wines of the Fabre family and in 1892 Queen Victoria visited Hyères and that is the inspiration for much if its history.  After touring and tasting its time for lunch.  Brasserie des Vieux Salins is one of our favorites located in the harbor of Hyères.  On to Chateau Sainte Marguerite on 75 hectares, today the Fayard family welcomes us in the cellars and under the olive tree to discover their wines in the newly-renovated estate.  Last but not least, Domaine OTT Clos de Mireille awaits us to finish with a touch of history as we discover this estate that founder Marcell OTT called his own in the 1930’s.  The Benedictine monks constructed here in the 18th century and this architecture still remains today.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE SAINTE VICTOIRE

Just east of Aix-en-Provence under the majestic Sainte-Victoire mountain lies the AOC Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire established in 2005.   North of the Monts Auréliens and the Sainte-Baume Mountain Range, this terroir protected from maritime influences, lies between the Bouche-du-Rhône department with 7 communes: Châteauneuf-le-Rouge, le Tholonet, Meyreuil, Peynier, Puyloubier, Rousset and Trets and 2 located in the Var:Pourcieux and Pourrières.  The famous strong winds called the Mistral protect the vineyards from disease.  The microclimate has elements of a continental climate, protected from the coastal influence on limestone, clay and sandstone produce elegant rosés and robust reds.   Only rosé and red whites will be found labeled in this appellation.  White wines produced here are labeled Côtes de Provence.   Find the varietals syrah, cinsault, grenache for reds and rosés and rolle and viognier for whites. On this excursion, we will trace the land of the famous artist Paul Cézanne who painted more than 80 works with the Sainte-Victoire mountain figuring in them in the 19th century. We will start with our visit to the Mas de Cadenet, where the Négrel family, owners since 1813, will welcome us with a tasting and cellar visit.  On to the Henri Bonnaud estate for an organic Wine tasting workshop where 60% of the wines are rosé, 30% are red and 10% are white.  Château Grand Boise is our next choice with 4 centuries of winemaking and built in 1610, so much history here! Lunch at the vineyard at the Bistrot Grand Boise to pair your favorite wine with your meal!  Not to miss, Château de la Galinière on the limestone steps of plateau Cengle with its red soil containing bauxite on 40 hectares producing organic wine since 2004.  Bauxite was discovered by French geologist Pierre Berthier in 1821 near the village of Les Baux de Provence.

CÔTES DE PROVENCE NOTRE-DAME DES ANGES

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CÔTES DE PROVENCE - CRU CLASSE - LA VIE EN ROSE

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CÔTES DE PROVENCE CRU CLASSE TRADITION

A remplir

AIX EN PROVENCE ART AND ARCHITECTURE

The Pierrefeu terroir, recognized and denominated for their quality in 2013, are situated in the western area of the Côtes de Provence, bordered on the south by the Massif des Maures and north by limestone plateaus.  There are 12 communes  authorized to produce wine under this appellation : Carqueiranne, Cuers, La Farlède,  La Garde, La Valette, Le Pradet, Pierrefeu, Puget-Ville et Sollies Pont and portions of La Crau, Carnoulès, and Collobrières.  Known as the Golden Triangle of Provence, this area is famous for their red clay and pebble soil.  AOC Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu produces wine in 2 colors. Reds are produced here from major varietals : Mourvèdre, Syrah and Grenache and  are rosés from:  Syrah, Cinsault and Grenache.  Tibouren is lesser known French varietal which is only grown in the Var and is often a winemaker’s choice for rosés adding  an elegant touch.   To start the day, let’s  visit an olive oil producer for a commented visit through the orchards and a tasting to understand this ancient process.  Our Provence Wine Tour Collection has 3 family-vineyards on this intinerary for our commented tastings and the first is the Château de l’Aumérade Cru Classé.  Choose from a wine tasting workshop featuring 3 colors of wine from this family vineyard, a visit of the cellars & gardens or a stroll in the vineyards after your tasting!  Take advantage of the scenery as we head for lunch at the largest naturel beach in Carqueianne, Pradon Beach. The afternoon continues to discover  Chateau La Tour de l’Evéque, acquired in 1958 which has been producing  organic wines since 2008.  This historic property used to be the summer home to the Bishops of Toulon!   Last but not least, Château Montaud situated on an ancient Roman settlement with its 2000 years of history has been home to the Ravel family sine 1951 producing wines that respect low yields, no irrigation and precise harvesting parameters.

LA PROVENCE VERTE

Côte de Provence is the largest appellation in terms of production volume and boasts 4 sub-appellations 3 of which are inlcuded on this tour : Côtes de Provence Frejus, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu and Côtes de Provence La Londe.  Our first stop in the heart of Provence is the historic  Château St Julien d’Aille situated on 80 hectares dating back to the Roman Ages.  With a choice of  2 of the 3 following  Cru Classé vineyards such as Domaine Ott’s 1st of their 3 estates, Château de Selle,  Château Sainte Marguerite or Château de la Clapière  explore the heritage of these prestigious winemakers.  We can also witness architecture varying from ultra-modern minimalist tasting rooms to Royal British influence-dominated  destinations.  If you are looking or art and armor, then it’s off to the 13th Century winery La Commanderie de Peyrassol founded by the Order of the Templiers.  On Thursday evenings  fining by enjoying the Summer Wine-Gourmet evening with a Cuban beat starting at 6:30pm. ( Exceptionally only 1 Cru classé Estate will be visited on Thursdays).

We will visit three wineries and taste three colors of wine.  The wineries may vary depending on the day of your visit.

AOC LES BAUX-EN-PROVENCE

Côte de Provence is the largest appellation in terms of production volume and boasts 4 sub-appellations 3 of which are inlcuded on this tour : Côtes de Provence Frejus, Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu and Côtes de Provence La Londe.  Our first stop in the heart of Provence is the historic  Château St Julien d’Aille situated on 80 hectares dating back to the Roman Ages.  With a choice of  2 of the 3 following  Cru Classé vineyards such as Domaine Ott’s 1st of their 3 estates, Château de Selle,  Château Sainte Marguerite or Château de la Clapière  explore the heritage of these prestigious winemakers.  We can also witness architecture varying from ultra-modern minimalist tasting rooms to Royal British influence-dominated  destinations.  If you are looking or art and armor, then it’s off to the 13th Century winery La Commanderie de Peyrassol founded by the Order of the Templiers.  On Thursday evenings  fining by enjoying the Summer Wine-Gourmet evening with a Cuban beat starting at 6:30pm. ( Exceptionally only 1 Cru classé Estate will be visited on Thursdays).

We will visit three wineries and taste three colors of wine.  The wineries may vary depending on the day of your visit.

AOC PALETTE

The artist Paul Cézanne used the Sainte-Victoire mountain 80 times for his painting.  This appellation AOC Palette, originally planted by Roman legionnaires 100 BC is part of this countryside and was recognized as an AOC terroir in 1948.  Easy to reach, it is situated south east of Aix-en-Provence.  The communes of Meyreuil and Tholonet are the communes bordering Aix-en-Provence and there are two other communes in the Bouches-du-Rhône.  This appellation produces wine in s3 colors and is the smallest and one of the oldest appellations in Provence.  Here we will find the red wine varietals grenache, cinsault and mourvèdre.   With 300 sunny days a year, the vines experience a Mediterrean climate and the mistral.  The rosé and white wines produced from clairette, and the whites from grenache blanc and ugni blanc, are known for their ageing qualities after spending 12 months in oak casks.   The wines from this are can be considered some of the best in Provence! Rosés can be  aged in oak as well and we can find reds with tannis and structure.  Let’s visit the Château de Meyreuil with 4 hectares and 1.5 in AOC Palette and the other 2.5 in Côtes en Provence. The elegant Rélais Cézanne welcomes us for lunch on the veranda.  The Château Henri Bonnaud offers us a wine tasting workshop.  With these new skills, we will finish the visit at the well-known Château Crèmade which is in sight of the  Sainte-Victoire mountain to taste what 18-months of ageing lends to the red wines resulting in  its fruity and spicy flavors, elegant tannins and generous mouth.

AOC BANDOL

Founded in the 6th century, near the village of Le Castellet, the terraced rows of Bandol’s hillside vineyards have remained intact overlooking the wooded hills down to the Gulf of Bandol.  Geographically-speaking, Bandol is protected to the north by the Massif of Saint Baum. This appellation created in 1941 is comprised of  8 towns in the department of the Var which are allowed to produce AOC Bandol wines:  Bandol, Le Beausset, Le Castellet, La Cadière d’Azur, Saint Cry-sur-Mer, Sainte-Anne d’Evenos, Sanary-sur-Mer and Ollioules.  The Bandol appellation with its full southern seaside exposure benefits from marine humidity which compensates for the pebbly, arid soil and produces three colors of quality wine.  Undeniably, Mourvèdre, the “king grape” red varietal at 80% when assembled with Grenache forge its reputation for their powerful, tannic and age-worthy wines with mouth-watering red berry flavors.  The wines must be aged for  18 months, and the oak barrels used can often be seen with a prominent “B” carved to represent the  heritage of this terroir.  Almost 50 estates produce the AOC Bandol wines.  On our itinerary, the Provence Wine Tour Collection includes these notable estates : Domaine Bunan, Domaine OTT Château Romassan, Domaine de la Garenne and Domaine de la Font des Pères and lunch at the La Table de la Font de Pères.

AOC CASSIS

Historically, this appellation was one of the first ever to be established in France’s quality terroir classification in 1936 for Protected Designation of Origin (in French “ AOC”) .   Here in Cassis we are in the land of quality white wines  representing  67% of this appellation which produces wine in 3 colors.   Rosés account for 30% and reds at just 3¨%.  Today there are 12 different AOC Cassis estates.  The appellation is completely situated within the Parc National des Calanques, the third largest national park in the world!.  After a visit to the harbor area, you may even be inspired to return to visit some of the 26 Calanques which are a series of rocky inlets and coves linking Cassis to Marseille. The spectacular limestone cliffs reflect this seaside specificity and lending calcium-carbonate rich soil resulting in important  acidic structure for these  white wines. The grape stars here are Marsanne et Clairette.  We will be visiting three wineries on every excursion among the 12 depending on the day of your visit.   Among the estates, Domaine de la Ferme Blanche facing Cassis Bay boasts 300 years of history.  No visit to Cassis would be complete without including a visit to Clos Sainte Marguerite from April to September with its breathtaking views.  Some other estates in the Provence Wine Tour Collection include:  Cassis Bodin, Domaine Paternel and Domaine de Bagnol.  Choose from a memorable gastronomic luncheon at La Villa Madie or lunch in the vineyard at La Table d’Albizzi.