PROVENCE

Provence is a wine region in the far southeastern corner of France, best known for the quality (and quantity) of its rosé wines and for its warm, mild climate.


The modernization that is occurring in so many southern French, traditional winegrowing regions has not taken such a firm grip in Provence, but there are definite signs of change. The region's grape varieties, in particular, have been under heavy scrutiny in the past few decades.


Traditional varieties such as Carignan, Barbaroux (Sardinia's Barbarossa) and Calitor being replaced by more commercially viable grapes like Grenache, Syrah and even Cabernet Sauvignon. The term cépages améliorateurs ("improver varieties") is gaining currency in Provence, as it has throughout neighboring Languedoc-Roussillon. The more successful local varieties Mourvèdre, Tibouren and Vermentino (locally known as Rolle) have retained favor, demonstrating their value in Provence's red, rosé and white wines respectively.