Provence has always been a great place to grow rosé wine. While some areas of Provence and the French Riviera specialise in whites (like the small fishing village of Cassis), the area’s geography and climate make it ideal for rosé wine growing. The area around the Sainte-Victoire for example, the mountain outside of Aix, has the perfect elevation and soil acidity for rosé wine. The Mistral wind that sweeps through the area dries the soil and blows away any dust or pollution. Finally, the wonderfully warm climate makes the fruit rich and ripe.
In addition to its geography – and because of it – Provence is a specialist in producing rosé wine. Families have been making it here for centuries. France is known for its wine, and Provence makes 35% of all French rosé wine and nearly 6% of all global wine production is from the region. It’s not a small proportion. That’s more than 141 million bottles every year. So it has all the right expertise and tradition to make some good wine.
With centuries of knowledge, Provence produces much of its wine under an approved government standard, called the AOC. Much of the wine conforms to this standard, which gives drinkers confidence in its quality.
In recent years, the level of investment has increased and rosé wine making has become far more professional. Many people have moved into the area to start new vineyards or take over existing family estates. Château La Coste outside Aix and Angelina Jolie’s estate, Miraval, are great examples of recent success. As the rosé wine revolution continues, more and more investment arrives. It can be difficult to get rosé wine making right, so the increased investment has led to better outcomes. The wine has gotten better.
As the rosé revolution continues apace, and investment increases, so have exports. In 2014, rosé wine exports to the US rose by 29%. Provençal rosé is becoming huge around the world and the UK is no exception – it’s lucky, because with France as its neighbour, the wine doesn’t have as far to come from the vineyard to the table. The best part is that most of the rosé wine made in Provence doesn’t actually leave the region or the country; it’s made by small producers who don’t yet export. That means that things can only get better as more and more begins to find its way further afield. Read our guide on the best vineyards in Provence here.