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9 Top Wineries to Visit in Provence

23 May, 2018 | by Freya Steveni. | 3 min read
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Beautifully tranquil lavender fields, charming port towns and sun dappled squares make Provence the perfect setting for a calming and beguiling getaway. Relax into Mediterranean life and delight in warm Provençal scenery, and experience its rich produce, fresh cuisine and excellent wines. This region in the South of France is most famous for its crisp, pale rosé wines, but has a lot to offer in red and white, too. Below, we have put together a list of some of the best wineries in the region, where you will be able to soak up the very best of Provence’s warmth and charm.

Photo credit: winerist.com

Chêne Bleu Winery

Along the Provence wine circuit is the outstanding Chêne Bleu Winery. Using state-of-the-art production methods and extensive research alongside industry experts, Xavier and Nicole Rolet are able to produce exceptional wines. These award-winning wines are produced biodynamically and without chemicals, blending hand-crafted tradition with modern insights and a commitment to organic production. The Estate offers free vineyard and cellar tours, along with a guided tasting of 6 critically-acclaimed wines. Chêne Bleu’s emphasis on organic and sustainable produce is also reflected in their dining options. On-site chef, Michel, prepares food for guests using ingredients from the La Verrière gardens and local producers: you can experience his cooking either in a laidback picnic or as a three-course menu with the option of wine pairings. The Winery organises many public events, including an ‘Apéro Bleu’, which they host every Wednesday evening in summer for visitors. Book your visit here.

Château D’Esclans

Château d’Esclans, producers of the famous ‘Whispering Angel’ provence rosé wine, is located near the Gorges de Pennafort, 25 km northwest of Fréjus on the Mediterranean coast. Some parts of the building date back to Gaullist times, when it served as a lookout point to spot intruders coming in by boat from the Gulf of Fréjus. The cellar at Esclans is the oldest in the region and was once part of  an original house, given to Gérard De Villeneuve by the Comte de Provence in 1201. The current château was built in the mid 19th century and is inspired by Tuscany. The current owner, Sacha Lichine acquired Château d’Esclans in 2006 and today there are 108 acres (44 ha) of vineyards. Visiting wine lovers can enjoy a tour of the cellar, survey this breathtaking property and taste award-winning wines in the state-of-the-art tasting room. Book your visit here.

Domaines Ott                                                                                                     

On the heights of Taradeau, Domaines Ott is is run according to the demanding methods of legendary winemaker Marcel Ott, one of the fathers of Provencal rosé. This is a fantastic place to come and learn about French rosé as the winery at Château de Selle also produces the wines of Ott’s other two domaines: Clos Mireille and Château Romassan, located in Bandol. Try the three rosés together and taste the differences between the three major Provence terroirs as you do so.

Domaine de Marie

After acquiring the boutique hotel La Bastide de Marie, an 18th-century farmhouse converted into a Provencal Mas, Jean-Louis Sibuet discovered a new passion: making wine. He teamed with cellar master Arnaud Bressy and renovated the vineyards to relaunch Domaine de Marie in 2000. The three vineyards have individual microclimates, allowing aromatic variety and personality to the wines. The domaine is located in the Luberon, a massif famed for its variety of flora and fauna. Practise the tranquil Mediterranean way of life by staying at this beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of their vineyards, and allow yourself to enjoy the charms of Provence and its peaceful landscape. Book your visit here.

Domaine des Aspras

Domaine des Aspras is an organic, family-run winery, located in the peaceful village of Correns, Provence. Correns is subject to an extraordinary microclimate which creates the perfect winemaking conditions and is why most of the producers here can operate organically. The village is all packed full of artists and sculptors, so there are always some beautiful art pieces on display. At Domaine des Aspras, you can enjoy a stroll through the rolling vineyards where sheep and horses also roam, creating a beautifully natural setting. Sample the delicious, organic wines and learn about what goes into each bottle. There’s something for every wine lover in a beautiful and tranquil setting, and it is connected to a charming hotel, the Bastide des Aspras, where you can turn a quick day trip into a relaxing weekend. Book your visit here.

Château des Launes

Just minutes away from the old village of Garde Freinet by the chic town of Saint Tropez, Château des Launes sits in the heart of the Maures National Park. Built at the end of the 19th century, this majestic building can be found by walking through the impressive forest of cork oak, pine and chestnut trees, and the beautiful terraces and gardens. The Château’s tasting room boasts a panoramic view, so enjoy the surrounding nature and soak up the beautiful landscapes with vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. This is the perfect environment to unwind and relax in.The winery also has four charming, detached holiday cottages with terraces for winerists who want to stay in the middle of a vineyard. They also have a swimming pool and stables where they offer horse riding. Book your visit here.

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Château de Berne

Located between Nice and Marseille, Château de Berne is a vineyard not to be missed when holidaying in the region. This exceptional vineyard produces fine quality red, rosé and white wines, and is also an idyllic, 5-star hotel with a celebrated restaurant and spa. Don't miss a guided wine tasting in their cellar or a Michelin-star lunch on the terrasse. Book your visit here.

Domaine Rabiega

Discover Domaine Rabiega, set on the heights of Draguignan, in Provence's inland countryside. Founded in the 16th century, this small, 25-acre domaine has chosen to focus its production on red wine and studying winemaking technique with their Wine Institute. Rabiega's full-bodied, generous reds have earned the vineyard its reputation for excellence and have won many awards over the years. Visiting wine lovers can enjoy tours of the winery and its vineyards, with tastings in the cellars. Domaine Rabiega also offers accommodation: there are 20 uniquely decorated rooms with spectacular views of the gardens and vineyards, making it the perfect setting for your stay in Provence. Book your visit here.

Domaine de Fontenille

Nestled amongst old cedar trees in the gorgeous Luberon national park,  Domaine de Fontenille is a beautiful pocket of Provençal luxury. Wine lovers can enjoy wine tastings in the cellar with the Cellar Master, private dinner, and participate in wine courses and conferences about the contemporary art exhibitions, terroir and truffle discovery. Domaine de Fontenille also offers luxury accommodation: the beautiful house dates from the 18th century and has 17 unique, refined and discreet rooms and suites. There are also two gourmet restaurants, Le Champs des Lunes and La Cuisine d'Amélie, led by a Michelin-starred chef to enjoy a world-class meal showcasing the best of the region’s rich produce. Book your visit here.

Photo credit: esclans.com

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