you’re planning to travel to the south of France in the near
future, think about including a trip to one of the vineyards
of the 60 winegrowers in the "Côtes de Provence" region. A
small, yet beautiful area, it takes in the departments of
the Var and part of the Bouches-du-Rhône.
indigo sky, azure sea and miles of white, sandy beaches welcome
you to an area where limestone cliffs and medieval villages
give way to miles of sharply-scented pine forests that provide
shelter to tranquil lakes and lazy rivers.
you stay in a bustling, crowded metropolis with all the modern
conveniences, or a turn-of-the-century country guest house
filled with 17th and 18th century antiques, in Provence your
days will be filled with sunshine and warmth, and lush nights,
scented with jasmine, lavender and wild thyme.
because of the breathtaking beauty of the Mediterranean Sea
and the abundance of tourist attractions found in Nice, Cannes
and elsewhere along the French Riviera, Provence is often
overlooked by companies that offer traditional wine tasting
tours, in spite of the excellence of its wines.
years ago, the Phoenicians settled in what is now France and
created the first vineyards to honor Bacchus (the God of wine).
They left behind a legacy of full-bodied wines that have a
sparkle and fullness that is as rich as the area they are
Provence, as everywhere in the Mediterranean, you’ll find
the people full of warmth, spontaneity and a “joie de vivre”.
As you will soon discover, any of these master oenologists
(winemakers) will be delighted to introduce you to the wines
they have become famous for; and share a little of the region’s
history with you.
you're very lucky, and your host is in the right mood, he
might even share some closely guarded secrets of how to blend
the right food with exactly the right wine, something that
most French winegrowers are passionate about!
As it is throughout all of France, winemaking in Provence is a serious
business. Many of the winegrowers here have won the rights
to include the prestigious “AOC” designation (Appellation
d’Origine Controlee) on their bottles of wines. This label
assures the buyer of a guaranteed vintage from the designated
region. In order to win the right to become designated as
an appellation wine, winegrowers much pass rigorous tests
is a truly prestigious and coveted award, as only the Ministry
of Agriculture in Paris can bestow the title of an AOC on
you will discover from the first delicious sip, the Côtes
de Provence winegrowers are experts in utilizing traditional
methods when harvesting and bottling their wines. Their deep
respect for the soil, the climate and the different varieties
of grapes they use comes through in the quality and taste
of each bottle.
in the heart of Provence’s winemaking region, the “Maison
des Côtes de Provence” boasts an outstanding selection of
you’re not worried about the thickness of your waist (or your
wallet), a visit to the four-star restaurant the “Bacchus
Gourmand” is a must, where you can savor real Provençal cuisine
accompanied (of course) by the perfect bottle of a Côtes de
try sampling a home-cooked meal at one of the many out of
the way cafes you’ll find tucked away on a narrow side street
in any village, where your host is also often your chef, and
he will be delighted to recommend a wine to you.
your tour you can arrange to take a wine tasting course at
one of the vineyards where you will learn a complete understanding
of wine: its robe (color), its bouquet (perfume), its body
(strength) and everything you need to know about service,
visit to Provence and a tour of some of these wonderful vineyards
and wineries -- and taking home a bottle or two -- will be
an experience to remember.
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