The minuscule appellation of Palette
is very near the city of Aix-en-Provence. Just a handful of producers work the 23 hectares (57 acres) of vineyards that are planted to about 25 different grape varieties and give exceptional wines. The appellation is primarily contained within the villages of Meyreuil and Tholonet but extends into a small part of the commune of Aix-en-Provence. Established on April 28th, 1948, the appellation takes its name from the hamlet of Palette, which is in the center of the cirque of the same name, 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) east of Aix. One of the oldest estates here, Château Simone is also one of the best.
The vineyards here sit on lacustrine Langesse and Montaiguet limestone, with uniform skeletal soils of limestone scree that are shallow and rocky. The vines are protected from the north wind by the Langesse and Grand Cabri hills, but the Vallée de l'Arc exposes them to west-northwest winds. Due to the mainly northern exposition of the vineyards, the harvest is almost always late.
Red and rosé Palette wines are made primarily from Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault with smaller proportions of Carignan, Syrah, Manosquin, Durif, Muscat Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Castet. The white blends are dominated by Clairette. The annual production of the appellation is about 1,300 hectoliters, of which 40% is red, 40% white, and 20% rosé.
More informations on the website of the wines of Palette