Here comes brand new news about the vineyards of Provence. It is both facts and a bit of celebrity gossip! All producers are included in my English Provence wine book so now you get updated information about Provence wine estates.
- Rosé d’une Nuit changes name. For many years, Domaine du Deffends, in the Coteaux Varois en Provence, has produced its well-known and characteristic rosé wine Rosé d’une Nuit. Unfortunately, Château la Coste, in the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, now claims that they have exclusive rights to the name.
If Deffends is to fight against la Coste, it will be like David against Goliath, the small family-run Domaine du Deffends with only 14 hectares against Château la Coste which has, by Provence standards, a huge 125 hectares and which also has activities such as hotels, spas, and restaurants. So, to invest in their quality wines instead of a costly legal process, Deffends will instead call its wine vintage 2021 Rosé du Deffends.
- The founder of Domaine de Trévallon has passed away. One of Provence’s great red wines comes from Domaine de Trévallon, a wine produced from equal parts Syrah and Cabernet sauvignon. Founder Éloi Dürrbach made himself known for the greatness of the wine and that he stood up to the INAO authority’s requirement that wines from AOP Les Baux de Provence may only contain 20% of the “intruder grape” Cabernet sauvignon, so consequently he downgraded the wine.
Unfortunately, Éloi passed away Dürrbach in November so now his daughter Ostiane Icard have to carry on the traditions without advice from her experienced father.
- Château Minuty’s marketing. The winery has been run for more than 30 years by the brothers Jean-Etienne and François Matton who are trained in management and oenology. Minuty has been very successful in its marketing and today produces around 4 million bottles per year, a large proportion of which is Minuty M which is produced in their winery outside Brignoles.
Now the successful marketing seems to stay within the family as Jean-Etienne’s financially educated daughter Anne- Victoire will be given responsible tasks in the company.
- Château de Crémat expands. The impressive castle vineyard is the only one on Bellet Hill located within the city of Nice. The vineyards and wine cellar were refurbished 20 years ago by a Dutch businessman who unfortunately went bankrupt in 2017, after which the property was sold to Daniel Derichebourg, CEO of a recycling company. Now Derichebourg has expanded his domains as he also bought Domaine de Toasc on the Bellet hill so their share is now 30% of Bellet’s vineyard area, the idea is to continue to run these as two separate vineyards.
A curiosity is the Château de Crémat’s emblem with two intertwined Cs. Coco Chanel was one of the guests at the parties held for Riviera’s society in the 1920s and according to rumours she got her inspiration from the initials of the Château de Crémat, two intertwined Cs, to create the logo of her prestigious fashion house … “
- Pernod Ricard enters the rosé market. Moët Hennessy LVMH’s division Wines & Spirits has previously bought Château de Galoupet, in Côtes de Provence La Londe and then also 55% of the shares in Château d’Esclans in Côtes de Provence Fréjus with the best-selling rosé wine Whispering Angel. Now it also seems that Pernod Ricard is entering Provence’s lucrative rosé wine market. It is rumoured that they are buying a majority stake in the 200-hectare Grand Cru wine estate Château Sainte Marguerite in Côtes de Provence La Londe.
- Bandol becomes biodynamic. As you already know Provence is the wine region with the largest share of organic wine-growing in France. A further step is now being taken when the two Bandol producers La Bastide Blanche and Domaine de Terrebrune have begun their four-year conversion towards a biodynamic certification according to Biodyvin.
- La Bégude in Bandol for sale? Rumour has it that the famous and highest located vineyard in Bandol La Bégude is about to be sold to entrepreneur Christian Roulleau, founder of the Samsic group. Today’s co-owner Guillaume Tari, however, denies this.
Sources: anthocyanes.fr, La Revue du Vin de France , Vitisphere , Monaco Matin, BBC News
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Göran Boman, Author of the book “The Wines of Provence – Tricolour “.