Provence saw the first grapes planted in France, in about 600 BC, by the Greeks. Romans built on what the Greeks started, realizing 2,000 years ago that Provence had an ideal climate for producing wine: mild winters and long, warm summers that do not get not too hot, thanks to the cooling winds. The Mistral winds play an important role in creating the climate of Provence and assisting with keeping the vineyards dry. This helps reduce occurrences of phylloxera by fending off bugs and pests. The winds are essentially Mother Nature’s natural pesticide!
According to regulations, Provençal vintners can blend wines using a maximum of 13 different types of grapes – five white and eight red – unique in France. Each of Provence’s main growing areas produce rich, fruity reds and dry, fresh rosé, only about five percent of wine produced here is white.
Provence has ideal grape growing conditions with its Mediterranean climate. Mild winters are followed by very warm summers with little rain fall and a significant amount of sun. In fact, this area receives double the hours of sunlight needed for grapes to grow and ripen at more than 3,000 hours of sun per year.