Provence is renowned for its rosés and its table wines, but over the past (many) years has improved quality so much that many of its wines are becoming sought after. Some of the more popular wines of Beyond are listed here.
Côtes de Provence
The principle appellation of the region, Côtes de Provence stretches from beside Marseilles, in the Bouches-du-Rhône and across central and southern Var to the Alpes-Maritimes.
Stretching from Toulon across to Fréjus is a red clay soil. In the center, the vineyards grow on the limestone soil around the Maures, and further north, the hills and high plains towards the Alps have a chalky soil.
Bandol is on the Mediterranean coast west of Toulon, and the vineyards stretch along the sunny southern hillsides, on rocky limestone soil.
The rosé, produced mainly for the strong local demand. It is aged a minimum of 8 months in wood (unique for a rosé), giving the wine an orange coloring.
The red Bandol is made from Mourvèdre grape and is aged a minimum of 18 months in oaken foudres, producing a full, round, rich wine that is good for immediate consumption and ages well.
This is a very tiny appellation, hidden in the hills behind the city of Nice. Bellet is produced, in red, white and rosé, by only two vineyards.
The Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence received the aoc rating quite recently, in 1985, but have built a good reputation through the planting of better varieties of grapes and careful attention to the wines vinification and ageing.
Coteaux de Baux-de-Provence
At the base of the Alpilles mountains, between Arles and Cavaillon, the chalky-white limestone soil is rich in bauxite. The vineyards tend to be organic, using no artificial or inorganic fertilizers.
On the rocky calanque coast of the Mediterranean east of Marseilles, Cassis is renowned in the South of France for its white wine. A slightly nutty flavor and a golden straw color, it goes well with the regional seafood. The blanc de blanc is especially good. Cassis red and small amounts of rosé are also made.
The Coteaux Varois wines are produced in the center of the department of the Var, around the town of Brignoles. This is a very new aoc, receiving their classification on 26 March, 1993.