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Provence Wine Region

  • Provence, France

Last updated: 07 July, 2024

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: 0
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

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

  • Avignon

Come and discover the famous vineyard of Chateauneuf du Pape with a bilingual local guide with a Sommelier diploma. I offer a unique circuit that will make you have a real immersion in the Vineyard of Chateauneuf du Pape. The day includes the visit of 4 domains/wine castles. Please count between 30min and 1h of time spent on the road to make the transfer between Avignon and Chateauneuf du Pape

Price €165

Min age 16

Rating 4.99 / 5 [289 ratings]

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  • 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]

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  • 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 [197 ratings]

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  • 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]

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  • Avignon

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]

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