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Description to Provence

The wine-growing region is located in the south-east corner of France and stretches along the Côte d'Azur from Marseille in the west to Nice in the east. It is bordered by the two major wine-growing regions of Languedoc in the west and Rhône in the north. Many sources consider the island of Corsica, 160 kilometres south-east of the coast, to be a common wine-growing area with Provence. In fact, there are many similarities. Together with the Languedoc-Roussillon region, Provence is often referred to as the Midi. Provence is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in France and Europe, as vines were planted and wine pressed here by the Greeks as early as the 6th century BC.

However, it is possible that the Celts (Gauls) were already doing this before them. The name comes from the Romans, who founded the "Provincia Romana" in 154 BC and supplied wine to Rome from here. Legionnaires who had been discharged from service received a small estate here as a reward, which they used for viticulture. The area has been hotly contested throughout history and belonged successively to the Roman Empire, the Frankish Empire, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Spanish County of Barcelona-Arágon, the House of Anjou, the Kingdom of Sardinia and finally France.

Provence - Landkarte mit Weinbaubereichen

The Mediterranean climate is characterised by mild winters, humid springs, hot summers and long, sunny autumns. In spring and autumn, the humid Marin sea wind blows from the south-east, bringing heavy rainfall. In the 19th century, large areas were destroyed by phylloxera. Today, the vineyards cover around 25,000 hectares of vines. The Côtes de Provence appellation in the east is by far the largest area, covering around four-fifths of the area.

As is usual in the south of France, numerous varieties are authorised, including many autochthonous vines, some of which are threatened with extinction. The most important red wine varieties are Barbaroux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Calitor Noir, Carignan Noir, Cinsaut, Grenache Noir (Garnacha Tinta), Mourvèdre (Monastrell), Rolle (Vermentino), Syrah and Tibouren, while the most important white wine varieties are Clairette, Grenache Blanc (Garnacha Blanca), Sémillon and Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano Toscano). Around half of the production consists of rosé wines, around 40% of red wines and 10% of white wines.

Map: From DalGobboM¿!i? - Own work, GFDL, Link
edited by Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer 2/2018

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