The name Côtes de Provence
was coined in 1895 by a group of winegrowers who joined forces to promote their wines. In 1951 a commission of experts was charged with delimiting the terroir; a new law ratified in July, 1955 officialized certain crus in this zone; and an AOC was established in 1977 (until then, Côtes de Provence was a VDQS—vin délimité de qualité supérieur or delimited wine of superior quality). This appellation encompasses almost 80% of the vineyards in the region of Provence, or about 20,500 hectares (50,657 acres) that produce 130 million bottles of wine each year.
Côtes de Provence extends into three departments: the Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, and an enclave in Alpes Maritimes. The appellation stretches from the siliceous Maures Massif through the red sandstone of Toulouse, ending on the limestone hills and plateaus that announce the Alps. Cinsault, Grenache, Carignan, Tibouren, Syrah, Ugni, and Sémillon make up these welcoming wines. Wines grown here are quite varied, but there are a few common themes. Rosés—the dominant color here—may be tender or taut; some reds are very lively, while others are more developed, full-bodied, and structured; whites grown near the coast are light and pleasant, while those from the northern part of the appellation are dry and fruity.
To the great displeasure of Bordeaux, 18 producers of Côtes de Provence now enjoy Cru Classé status, including Domaine Sainte Roseline, Clos Mireille, and Château de Brégançon, to name just a few. Other producers offering excellent expressions of the terroir are Château Minuty, Domaine Ott, Château Sainte Marguerite, Château Barbanau, Château Roubine, and Domaine de Saint Ser. Thanks to its long winegrowing tradition, the expertise built up over the generations, the harmony of the grape varieties with the terroir, and the excellent qualities of the land and the climate, Côtes de Provence is a reliable source of quality wines in the 21st century.
More informations on the website of the wines of Côtes de Provence