It has always been unanimous among those passionate about the art of living, Provence has always been a very controversial subject when it comes to wine.
Perhaps to annoy my mother – an ardent Mediterranean woman – my father, when I asked him if he wanted a Rosé, liked to reply “thank you, I’d prefer a wine”. And he explained to me, during the summer seasons we spent in Tourettes sur Loup, that the Rosé’s charm wasn’t exactly its Grenache, Cinsault or Syrah grapes, its fruity flavor or its freshness, but the happiness and memories brought by the beauty of the stone houses, the music of the cicadas, the smells of the “garrigue”, the games of boules or the swaying of the olive trees.
In addition to being a little unfair, these ideas must now be reviewed in light of the new developments that have taken place in vineyards and wine tourism in Provence in recent years. One of the most famous was the investment made by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who in 2008 bought Miraval Castle , near Brignoles, and produced the rosé, considered (by its own qualities or those of its owners) one of the best in the world. In the same region, but with even less oenological ambitions, George Clooney is trying to acquire Canadel, an 18th-century mansion surrounded by a 170-hectare property with some vineyards also included in the Côtes-de-Provence appellation.
Even before the glamor of these Hollywood heavyweights, the notoriety of Provence wines had already taken advantage of the investments of big names in luxury and French excellence. Looking for wine-producing potential, but also wanting cultural heritage and exclusive tourism, the Bolloré group explores two properties near Saint Tropez , La Croix and La Bastide Blanche, LVMH bought Château du Galoupet, one of the “grands crus classés” of Provence , and the Château d’Esclans, one of the most sought after rosés in the world. Chanel invested in the very exclusive island of Porquerolles with Domaine de l’Ile and Domaine Perzinsky.
With this support, the Rosés de Provence knew how to take advantage of new trends in wine consumption, joy, simplicity, immediate pleasure, and conviviality. In France, consumption has tripled since the 1990s, and the United States buys almost half of the 40 million bottles exported annually. And in Brazil, if volumes are small, rosés are proportionally the most sought after French wines. The international success of Rosé de Provence is also visible locally, in the 486 properties in the region (89% producing Rosé) that have joined wine tourism, diversifying their sales and activities.
North Americans, British or Brazilians are present in the most emblematic wineries. They are seen at the Domaine de la Courtade in Porquerolles, in the starred restaurant of chef Gérard Passédat at Château La Coste, where Argentine chef Francis Mallmann is also located. They like the many luxury accommodation options dedicated to the wines of Provence, including new developments such as the Domaine de la Courtade , the Château de Fonscolombe , the Château Saint Roux or the Palace des Villas La Coste . Keeping its difference, its flavor of the Mediterranean Sea, its spirit of freedom and its pleasure in life, Rosé de Provence is really becoming a wine of international connoisseur.