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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

Sunny Provence has been making wine ever since grapes were introduced by the Ancient Greeks, circa 600 BC. Provence grows some of the most prestigious Cotes du Rhone wines, including the reds of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Beaumes-de-Venise, all located north of Avignon (more details below).

Famous for its quaffable roses, there are also notable AOC areas along the coasts (Bandol, with its Mourvedre wines, Cassis with its whites), while Les Baux-en-Provence is known for organic wines.

Beaumes-de-Venise

Grown on natural terraces under the ‘lacy’ mountains (the Dentelles de Montmirail), this wine-growing area – famous for Muscat – goes back to Roman times and remains both one of Provence’s most beautiful and prestigious.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Promoted by the wine-loving medieval popes of Avignon, the world-famous reds of Chateauneuf-du-Pape have steadily grown in reputation over the years. The 320 estates are distinctive for their bushy vines grown in large sun-soaked pebbles.

Gigondas

AOC Gigondas is a powerful red wine nicknamed ‘little brother’ of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, grown in a tiny area around the pretty little village of Gigondas, with beautiful vines and vertical views of the Dentelles de Montmirail.

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

For a comprehensive guide to wineries and wine trails, see the Vins Rhone website. They have a map of all the wineries.

Most wineries in Provence offer free tastings and sell wine in any quantity, from one bottle upwards. As well as selling bottles and cases onsite, many vineyards sell wines straight from the vat (‘en vrac’). A few estates in Chateauneuf-du-Pape request advance notice, but in most cases you can just turn up. Check specific winery websites if you’re unsure.

Within the growing areas, specialist wine shops (caves cooperatives) offer tastings from numerous local estates to help you decide which to buy, so these can be a good place to start.

The roads in these parts are very scenic, and numerous wine trails make touring by car a pleasure, although joining a tour means you don’t have to drive. Alternatively, hop on a bike: many of the wine roads are peaceful and away from main routes. Or just have a wander: the prettiest walking trails are around Beaumes-de-Venise and Gigondas.

You could also consider a ‘wine cruise’ taking in the vineyards of both Provence and Burgundy. These luxury river cruises usually last around 8 days, and will organise visits and tastings at the best vineyards.

When to do it

April to July are good months to visit, when the vine bushes are lush; autumn is lovely for the colours and interesting for the busy harvest. Most wine estates are open during regular business hours.

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Provence Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon

Avignon

Provence Cru Wine Small-Group Half-Day Tour from Avignon
Enjoy a small group tour from Avignon Wine Tour : On the way to Châteauneuf du Pape Let us guide you through this amazing visual and tasting experience of the best wines of the Côtes du Rhône. Enrich your knowledge of wine production, grape varieties and have a great time learning how to taste wine professionally.

Price: €80

Min age: 0

Rating 4.71 / 5 [199 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon

Avignon

Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Day Tasting Tour including Lunch from Avignon
Enjoy four wines tastings of the main AOC Côtes du Rhône made in Provence visiting four famous domains or châteaux, with the help of our wine specialist. Your day alternates from wine tasting in traditional wineries and visit of the villages. Stop among the vines, walk through the streets of hilltop villages and enjoy the super panoramic views of vineyards. The lunch is included in a perfect place, around vineries!

Price: €160

Min age: 5

Rating 4.75 / 5 [196 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Provence Wineries and Luberon Villages Day Trip from Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence

Provence Wineries and Luberon Villages Day Trip from Aix-en-Provence
Combine fine wines with spectacular Provencal scenery on this full-day tour from Aix-en-Provence! After visiting two wineries in the Côtes de Provence St-Victoire winemaking region and sampling their exquisite wines, spend the afternoon in the Luberon region – exploring the villages of Lourmarin, Roussillon and Gordes with your friendly guide!

Price: €158

Min age: 4

Rating 4.89 / 5 [132 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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The prestige course at Maison Brotte

Avignon

The prestige course at Maison Brotte
Maison Brotte shares its winegrowing know-how through a unique educational path, revealing all the secrets of wine making, the specificities of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the Rhône Valley. On 500 m² of museum, you will be immersed in a memorable, warm and contemporary atmosphere, and follow in the footsteps of the winegrower.

Price: €12

Min age: 18

Rating 4.86 / 5 [131 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige Wine Tour from Avignon

Avignon

Chateauneuf-du-Pape Prestige Wine Tour from Avignon
During this afternoon tour, discover one of the most famous vineyards of the Rhône Valley : Chateauneuf du Pape , is renowned for its full-bodied and powerful red wines. Enjoy a wine tasting experience in a prestigious cellar of the village.

Price: €139

Min age: 4

Rating 4.53 / 5 [78 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

3

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Avignon

Provence, France

Exterior photo of the Palace of the Popes lit up at night

A lively medieval town bursting with art and creativity, and centrally located for sightseeing in Provence. Host of the superb Avignon Festival.

Provence

Provence, France

Field of bright purple lavender in front of an old church

Gorgeous landscapes peppered with beautiful villages, sunflowers and lavender, art-filled towns, lively cultural festivals and exquisite food and wine. Provence is everything you imagined it would be.

Arles

Provence, France

front view of facade at sunset

Fascinating Roman, and medieval monuments and memories of Van Gogh, plus a winsome shabby-chic charm.

Round-ups

1

Round-ups that include this experience

13 Best wine regions

Multiple countries

A bucket full of grapes placed underneath a vineyard plant

The world’s greatest wine regions – where you can sip the world’s greatest wines at source, and tour the vineyards to learn how they’re made.