Great wine starts with beautiful vines, and the winemakers of Provence have adapted vine cultivation to make the most of the region’s specific terroir and climate…
The ancient method of vine training known as ‘gobelet’ has been largely replaced by trellising in rows parallel to the wind, to protect the vines from the intense effects of the Mistral.
Excepting Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, where longer cane pruning is beneficial, the majority of the vines are short-pruned to 2 buds per spur.
Where necessary, terraces known as ‘restanques’ are built perpendicular to the slope, to limit erosion in the vineyards.
Provence’s hot, dry climate lessens the impact of parasites and plant diseases, while the cleansing Mistral wind helps to clear the humidity left behind by summer and early autumn storms. These beneficial conditions are particularly felt in the north of the region, where the vines generally require fewer treatments.
Hot summers and cool evenings enable the grapes to reach full maturity in the run up to harvest.
Harvest begins in the second half of August in the areas near the coast, and continues through October across the rest of the region. To prevent oxidation harvest takes place early in the morning, often before sunrise, while temperatures are cooler. Bringing the grapes to the winery at a lower temperature also ensures that less energy is used to cool the grapes prior to rosé and white wine making.