Quick Guide - French Wine School

Quick Guide to Provence AOP's

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3 main AOPs:

Vineyard Areas Cotes de Provence

Coteaux d’Aix

Limestone Mountain Coteaux Varois en Provence

*Produces 96% of
Provence Wine*

6 smaller AOPs:

Bandal
Cassis
Palette
Bellet
Pierrevert
Les Baux de Provence

*Produces 4% of Provence Wine*

Cótes de Provence

  • Largest vineyard area and land mass. It contains 5 non-joining vineyardareas, each with a varied topography, soil composition and climate.
  • With a large variety of grapes grown in such diverse landscapes, there are 5 recognised terroir designations within this one region embodying all of the Provençal wine styles.
  • Produces 75% of the regions total production.

CLIMATE:

Varied – lots of meso-climates,
mostly Mediterranean, but some
parts have continental and even alpine influences.

  3.5%  6.5% 90%
White  Red   Rosé

SOIL:

All of Provence’s soil types lie within the zone.

  • Volcanic soils between Frejus and Cannes
  • Crystalline schist in the east from La Londe to Frejus
  • Limestone and clay soils in the west
  • Limestone & Schist mix in the interior valley between Toulon and Les Arcs.

Coteaux Varois En Provence

  • This region in the middle of Provence features undulating limestonemountain ranges so there are a multitude of ‘meso-climates’.
  • Vineyards at these slightly higher altitudes are cooler so the grapes benefit from longer, slower ripening, giving the finished wines good acidity, complex flavours and structure.

CLIMATE:

Mediterranean, with Continental
influence in the northern portion

SOIL:

Chalky clay soils

  3%     7%    90%
White  Red   Rosé

Coteaux D’Aix En-Provence

  • This AOP situated in the northwest corner has hills and ranges dotted with vineyards, olive trees and picturesque villages and Aix-en-Provence is the heartland. The vineyards are mostly inland located on the hills and ranges with a collection of vineyards on the coast.
  • Wine production in this area is heavily impacted by the Mistral, particularly inland and with such a vast area, many styles are made, with wines from coastal vineyards uniquely displaying greater minerality.

CLIMATE:

Mediterranean & heavily impacted by the Mistral

SOIL:

Limestone & Clay

  5%     11%    84%
White  Red   Rosé

Bellet

  • Bellet is located on terraces above the Var River and it’s a communal appellation of the vineyards surrounding Nice.
  • Bellet rosés express a rose petal aroma unique in Provence. Also unique is the long list of unusual grape varieties allowed, including Chardonnay, a known grape variety, but the only AOP in Provence to allow it.

CLIMATE:

Classic Mediterranean

SOIL:

Volcanic Porphyry & Crystalline Schist

   33%   33%   34%
White   Red   Rosé

Coteaux De Pierrevert

  • Coteaux de Pierrevert is located in the most northern part of Provence, at a typical elevation of 450m, and has strong alpine influence.
  • It has the strongest daytime temperature swings in Provence.

CLIMATE:

Strong Alpine influence with diurnal temperature
swings

SOIL:

Limestone & Clay

   13%   30%   60%
White   Red   Rosé

Palette

  • The smallest appellation in Provence, Palette measures only 100 acres in two non-contiguous zones of the Arc river, just east of Aix-en-Provence.
  • Palette is known for vin-cuit; a boiled sweet wine made from grape must.

CLIMATE:

Classic Mediterranean

SOIL:

Limestone & Clay

   37%   44%   19%
White   Red   Rosé

Bandol

  • Bandol is located on the Mediterranean coast west of Toulon and east of Cassis, and it’s one of the oldest wine-growing regions in Provence.
  • The appellation covers only hillside vineyards, mostly terraced and south- facing towards the sea.
  • When the vineyards were replanted in the 1880s, Mourvèdre emerged as the core of the region’s new-found success.

CLIMATE:

Classic Mediterranean

SOIL:

Limestone

   10%   30%   60%
White   Red   Rosé

Cassis

  • The terraced vineyards of Cassis are spectacularly wedged between the coast and the Massif de Calanques, high, deeply creviced limestone cliffs, providing shelter from the winds of the Mistral.
  • Cassis is the only appellation in Provence dominated by white wine production at 67%.

CLIMATE:

Classic Mediterranean

SOIL:

Limestone

   67%    3%   30%
White   Red   Rosé

Les Baux De Provence

  • Located southeast of Avignon, Les Baux de Provence AOP surrounds a 13th century fortification in the Alpille Mountains.
  • Les Baux De Provence is the stronghold of organic and biodynamic viticulture in the region and produces a much larger percentage of red wine than others, at 57%.

CLIMATE:

Classic Mediterranean

SOIL:

Limestone Hills rich with Bauxite

   4%     57%   39%
White   Red   Rosé

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