Côtes de Provence

2017 Harvest in Provence and Southern Rhône: Early and Small but with Great Expectations

If you live in the South of France, you would have to be living a cave not to know that the 2017 harvest was historically early and small. I was in Provence during harvest time – la vendange, in French – and heard directly from winemakers about their concerns for the future but also about their optimism that Mother Nature who, despite dealing drought conditions in some areas and severe frost in others, operates in cycles.

“It used to be that grapes were picked in mid-September,” said Romain Ott, great, great grandson of pioneer winemaker Marcel Ott and, today, the winemaker at Château Léoube, a sprawling estate located on the Mediterranean coast (next to Clos Mireille, one of Marcel Ott’s original three properties). “I never got to participate [in the harvest] because I had gone back to school,” Ott said.

“Now, we are finished by then,” he added.    “This year, our harvest began on August 17th,” Ott told me when I visited Château Léoube at the end of August.  He estimated the harvest would be complete on the 8th of September.  “Five years ago, the harvest began the last week in August,” he
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DECODING CÔTES DE PROVENCE ROSÉ

There are still people out there who think that rosé comes from blending red and white wines and others who (seriously) think rosé is made from a single grape variety called rosé. This article focuses on the traditionally dry, fresh, fruit-forward, pale-colored rosés
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April Frost Damages 25% of Château Vignelaure Vineyard

“We are lucky the damage was not worse,” Philippe Bru, Directeur Œnologue of Château Vignelaure, said of the April 29th frost that hit his vineyard, located in Rians, just north of Aix-en-Provence. “I hear that the Center of the Var was hit much worse, especially around Correns.”
That devastating frost, considered the most destructive since
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Provençal Pairings: Wine with Food

Flight of Fancy

Three wines; flight of fancy or fancy flight? I say it's both.
It has been a good year in Provence… most specifically, in Cotignac. Jeany and Stephen Cronk, founders of Mirabeau en Provence, situated in Cotignac, sent me the full flight of their rosé wines to create food pairings. All three of the wines won gold medals this year: Pure and Étoile received the 2017 Médaille d'Or in Paris and, in addition, Étoile scored an impressive 92 points form the Wine Enthusiast. The Mirabeau Classic won the 2017 Médaille d'Or at the
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