In a way, there’s a fairly short answer to this question — Provence was the original winemaking region in France. With tons of sunshine, modest rain, gentle slopes of various grape-friendly soils, and a persistent breeze, the area is as ideal for grape-growing as it is for a dreamy seaside vacation. But there are winemaking traditions that have stayed unique to Provence and maintain its spot as the reigning rosé powerhouse.
Just a few to consider:
A dry rosé– the perils of the too-fruity rosé are far less prolific today than they were even five years ago, but Provence is perhaps the most reliable guarantor of dry pink around. Just check that rosy-salmon, bright sunset tone and know you’re good to go.
You better blend– several dark-skinned (and some light-skinned) grapes are allowed in a Provençal rosé blend, though the most common have highly-aromatic skins that only need a light press to give up the flavor. Winemakers are required to use at least two grape varieties in their rosés, producing a broad scope of (mostly-)light and always-fresh styles.
Sustainable and Organic– winemakers themselves are pushing for sustainable and organic practices to be included in the AOC’s regulations, but until that day comes, a widespread number of individual producers already employ sustainable and organic farming.
Which pink hue looks best on you?
La Vidaubanaise ‘La Plage’ Rosé du Var
Grapes: Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
Aromas of ripe watermelon, honeydew, and beachy minerality splash into golden cherry, melon, and wild strawberry on the palate.
Whether you’re truly by the beach or just channeling the vibe, this sustainably-farmed bottle will transport and refresh.
Les Cardonnières Provence Rosé
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah
Lightly spiced on the nose with wet stone and rhubarb, its creamy texture accentuating the freshness of juicy peach, melon, and mandarin.
100 years on the sustainable winemaking cooperative scene must be the secret to this effortlessly fresh but seductively silky little number.
Roseline Prestige Cotes de Provence Rosé
Grapes: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah
A clean profile of delicate aromatics abuzz with fresh melon, wild strawberry, orange cream, sea spritz, and a light note of green herb emerging with food.
If you appreciate the magic of minerality in a Chablis or Sancerre, check out how brightly the South shines with this racy but soft, elevated bottling.
Chateau d’Astros ‘Aventure’ Provence Rosé
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Caladoc
Very aromatic on the nose with bright strawberry, cherry blossom, and peach, all coming through atop a vibrant palate of orange zest, guava, and sea breeze.
Old vines on limestone, organically farmed and very gently pressed, this is next-level Provence with tons of freshness, character, and a crazy-long finish.
-Aimee Hutchinson | Wine Manager Top Ten Liquors