How Provence Crafts the Best Rosés in the World | Wine Enthusiast
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How Provence Crafts the Best Rosés in the World

Provence sets the benchmark for rosé. With its distinctive pink hue and fresh profile, the style of wine is emulated all over the world. But producers in this southern French region know it is their terroir, and deep history of winemaking, that make Provence rosé stand out above all others.

 The Birthplace of Rosé

Provence is known as the birthplace of rosé and the wine is deeply ingrained in the region’s identity. Centuries ago, Greeks brought vines to what is now called Marseilles, making Provence the very first French vineyard. When the Romans later arrived, they settled in Provence and further developed winemaking. While Provence has a vinous tradition and heritage dating back thousands of years, developments in recent history have played a major role in the recognition and acclaim Provence rosé wines receive today. In the late 1970s, a group of visionary winegrowers challenged the notions of winemaking at the time and committed to producing high-quality rosé wines. Through their revolutionary mindset, Provence became one of the most revered wine regions in the world. With 2,600 years of winemaking history, there’s an unparalleled level of experience in Provence, and it shows in the artfully crafted wines.

Today, these rosé specialists come together under the name Vins de Provence, which encompasses three appellations: Côtes de Provence, Coteaux Varois en Provence and Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.

Understanding the Provence Style

Vins de Provence rosé is characterized by its pale hue, freshness, and lifted aromatics. But it rose to global acclaim for being dry, as opposed to the sweet blush wines commonly found in the market decades ago. It simultaneously exhibits fruit and savory notes, plus a bright acidity. But this is just a broad strokes definition: within the category of “Provence rosé,” a diversity of styles exists. From refreshing aperitif options to gastronomic wines, Provence rosés work across all occasions and seasons. It is a wine of pleasure and a wine born from the senses. 

The rosy-hued wines also embody the lifestyle of their Provence homeland. A certain joie de vivre defines the south of France. This sophisticated mindset, the art of living, is seen in the wines, and rosé integrates itself into memorable moments, big and small.

An Ideal Terroir

The beauty of the Provence landscape captures many vacationers’ imaginations, but the dry, sunny area, with its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, is also ideal for grape growing. Vines thrive in well-draining soils, and a patchwork of microclimates plays host to over a dozen grape varieties. Most importantly, the Mistral wind blows through the vineyards, regularly cleaning the rows and removing parasites and potential mildew. 

These conditions lend themselves to sustainable farming. The vast majority of land under vine is certified organic or High Environmental Value (HEV) – an impressive accomplishment. But Vins de Provence continues to push boundaries and aims to reach 100 percent within the decade.

People are another element that makes up terroir, and the personalities behind the wines are as diverse as the region itself. Private cellars, growers, and cooperatives of vignerons contribute to the dynamic character of the region.

An Attention to Detail

Ninety percent of production in Provence is rosé. Because of this incomparable dedication, every step of the winemaking process, from vine training to harvesting to vinification, is done with an eye toward producing the best quality rosé wine possible. This high degree of expertise results in expressive wines that speak to Provence’s unique terroir.

Although other regions might treat rosé as an afterthought to their reds or whites, fruit in Provence is cultivated and vinified specifically for rosé production. Vins de Provence producers are rosé specialists, and this intentionality puts Provence rosés in a league of their own.

A Single Word As A Sign of Quality

The term “Provence” signifies quality. Although many regions try to emulate the Provence style, there is only one original. That one simple term on a label–Provence—is an assurance that the bottle in question is one of the best rosés in the world.

To learn more about Vins de Provence and its expertise in crafting the best rosés in the world, click here.

Reportage CIVP /Agence Manifestes