Nothing speaks more eloquently of summer than a glass of chilled rosé from the oldest wine region of France, Provence, in the south-eastern corner of the country.
One of the few wine categories currently experiencing growth, rosé wine’s appeal is universal. Its recent surge in popularity reflects a new trend in consumption with less formal dining, and occasions that suggests a relaxed, more casual approach to social gatherings. Whether it’s a get-together over a platter, or a sumptuous feast, elevate the experience by serving plenty of versatile, crowd-friendly rosé wine, created in the region from which it originated.
Where it all began
Winegrowing in France dates back 2600 years to when the Phoenicians settled in Provence and founded Marseilles and planted the first grapevines. The term “rosé wine” was coined at the end of the 17th century, at a time when it was produced all over France. As other regions began to turn their attention to red wine, the winemakers of Provence opted to specialise in the distinctive dry, pale pink rosé the area had become famous for.
The vineyards of Provence cover an area of France’s coastline that measures roughly 200km from east to west. No Provencal vineyard is more than 55km from the Mediterranean Sea, and the region is well known for its warm, mild climate, which records around 3000 sunshine hours per year. Vins de Provence encompasses the three protected appellations of origin, Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence. Provence is the undisputed leader in this category, with 90 percent of its production dedicated to rosé and 100 percent of its decisions being dedicated to rosé, from the vine to the cave.
Sustainability is the key
French winegrowers are keenly aware of their responsibility to protect the Vins de Provence ecosystem from the effects of climate change. Innovative techniques – and in some cases a return to ancient winegrowing ways – have been developed in recent years in a bid to limit its impact on the natural surroundings and biodiversity.
A commitment to reaching 100 percent sustainability certification, or in a High Environmental Value (HEV) programme by 2030, demonstrates the appellations’ forward thinking approach.
With the industry’s commitment to preserving this region, and its long and storied history of winemaking, one thing is certain – the signature wine of the beautiful Vins de Provence will continue to be produced for many more years to come.
Main image photo credit: Vera Wohlleben