The Côtes du Rhône appellation is situated in southern Vaucluse between Avignon and Bollène, and includes several great wines that have contributed to its international reputation: Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Mainly reds with a small quantity of rosés, Côtes du Rhône wine is known for its delicate fruity aroma and can either be aged or consumed relatively young.
The rosé wines of south-eastern France are perhaps amongst some of the most well-known and respected in the world – and boasting the ideal climate and vineyard locations, Provence could be said to specialise in rosé production. Try the Wine Tourism Route for suggestions on where to find the region’s best wines and vineyard visits – you can create your own personalised itinerary based on your preferences and how much time you have, and a network of locals will show you new ways to experience – and love – Provence. The official route has a network of over 300 estates and wine cellars representing eight different appellations, each with their own unique qualities and characteristics (Bandol, Cassis, Les Baux de Provence, Palette, Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence). These stretch across three Provençal departments – Bouches-du-Rhône, Var and Vaucluse – and their enthusiastic professionals share a set of values acknowledged by signing a ‘quality charter’ to demonstrate commitment to the Provence Wine Route. Each of them proudly displays a ‘Route des Vins de Provence’ sign outside the participating cellar or vineyard.
You can also discover ‘La Provence Verte’, a tourist destination encompassing 38 towns and villages gathered around the two major towns of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume and Brignoles. The area's economy is primarily based on agriculture and has built its strength by enhancing its major assets: the forests and unspoilt environment, the abundant water, and the vineyards that have shaped the landscape. Wine-making is part of the history and tradition of this area. Collectively making up the ‘Côtes de Provence’ and ‘Côteaux Varois en Provence’ appellations, some vineyards date back to the Roman era and the clay-limestone terroir produces high-quality wines of great diversity. Wine is a fundamental part of the art of living (‘art de vivre’) in Provence and winemakers in La Provence Verte welcome visitors to 14 wine estates for tastings and a crash course in viticulture.
An aniseed-flavoured spirit usually served with water and ice as an aperitif. It was commercialised by Marseille-born Paul Ricard in the 1930s and the Ricard family’s name and heritage lives on in Provence in a legacy of the family’s islands off the coast of Bandol, and the Paul Ricard Oceanographic Institute that carries on his interest in marine-conservation. Pastis is most popular in south-eastern France; perhaps the higher temperatures mean that the cold drink is a little more refreshing.