If you’re looking for a place to taste excellent wine while basking in beautiful countryside, Provence may be the destination for you: this region of France is known for its magical vineyards. From Château La Coste to Mas de Cadenet, here is Culture Trip’s pick of must-visit vineyards and wineries in the area.
Château La Coste is a countryside gem, just 15 minutes outside of Aix-en-Provence. In addition to its fantastic wine (all of which is organic) and great tours, this place has an art gallery, art installations around the grounds (it’s well worth doing the two-hour walk), a hotel, a summer cafe and three wonderful restaurants.
The vineyard of Domaine des Peyre is a must-visit. Not only is the wine incredible, but so is the service, and art lovers will appreciate the artwork decorating the property. The smaller winery lies in the beautiful countryside in the Luberon region, and if you fall in love with the place and don’t want to leave, it has five charming cottages available to hire, complete with a refreshing pool.
Château Vignelaure, just outside Aix-en-Provence, has a 55ha (136 acres) vineyard; some grapes are part of the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AOC. The vineyard has some of the oldest cabernet sauvignon vines, planted in the 1960s, but wines have been produced in this soil for the past 2,000 years; an archaeological team uncovered Roman remains of a vineyard nearby. While it specialises in red wine, Château Vignelaure also produces whites and rosés; you can try all of them during a tasting.
Mas de Cadenet is in the Sainte-Victoire wine region, just outside Aix-en-Provence. The word mas means “estate” in Provençal, and Cadanet comes from the cade shrub, which is found on the property. The Negrel family purchased the land in 1813, and it’s still in the family. While the estate produces a few red and white wines, its speciality is rosé. It grows rolle, syrah, grenache, cinsault and cabernet sauvignon grapes. Mas de Cadenet offers several activities, including wine tours, tastings, painting lessons and treasure hunts.
The Domaine de Saint-Ser is in the same region as Mas de Cadenet and has 33ha (82 acres) of land. The wine here benefits from its geographical location on a sunny hillside. The Sainte-Victoire mountain not only reflects light off the rock and onto the vines, increasing photosynthesis and giving the grapes a more concentrated flavour, but it also shields the vineyard from the summer storms. The ground is rocky, aiding the growth of quality grapes, plus the local wind, Le Mistral, blows around the Sainte-Victoire region, drying the vines after the rain and purifying the vineyard.