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  • Writer's pictureGrape Tours in Provence

For a wine world of diversity: blend of red Provence grapes

Updated: May 26, 2020

If the red and rosé Provence wines are mainly produced by blending with known and internationally recognized grape varieties such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, the famous GSM of southern Côtes-du-Rhône, there are more local, more confidential varieties which, when properly used, bring complexity and increased diversity to the wines.

For the elaboration of red and rosé wines, we can find locally:

- Tibouren: also found in our Ligurian neighbors under the name Rossese for Rossese di Dolceacqua DOC, this delicate grape is most often used for rosé wines, bringing finesse, elegance with a light color and sometimes exotic aromas.

- Counoise: very rare today, it is sometimes still planted in areas sensitive to spring frosts. It brings fruity and spicy notes to the blend as well as good acidity.

- Cinsault: big berries variety, pale pink in color, is particularly suitable for Provence soils and its climate (dry and windy) as well as for the production of rosé. Originally certainly from Languedoc.

- Braquet: it is an old grape variety from Provence found almost exclusively in Bellet. It brings its fruit aromas (strawberry) and its delicacy in the blending especially of rosé (poor in color pigments).

- Folle Noire: also locally called Fuella Nera, its origin is also supposed to be in Bellet. But there is a fairly similar variety in the Agenais (Southwest of France) under the local name of Jurançon Noir, which would also be different from Jurançon Noir in Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It could be biotypes. Folle Noire brings to Bellet wines its tannic power, color and aromatic power in blends.

- Barbaroux: We also find this grape variety with a light color, with moderate alcohol potential, in Corsica under the name of Barbarossa. Not to be confused with the Italian Barbarossa.

- Calitor: it is a Provencal grape that is endangered.

Cabernet-Sauvignon and Carignan are also present in Provence and include blends as in Côtes-de-Provence or Coteaux d'Aix AOCs.

In an increasingly globalized, standardized wine production of mono-varietal wines, under the threat of a global warming effect, there is no doubt that these sometimes so-called modest grape varieties will have a great future in blending in the quality production of Wines of Provence.

Come to taste these indigenous grapes with Grape Tours in Provence, leader in Provence wine tours.

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