Rosés represent 80% of production. They are generally a pale to light salmon pink with mineral & spicy notes and aromas of peach, apricot, and citrus. The ruby / purple red wines are aged in oak barrels with notes of black fruit , spices, and violets, rose. Grenache is the main grape base of all the various blends which include Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Two geological areas exist in Côtes de Provence, the North West is calcareous (Mountain Routes) and the South East (Coast Routes) facing the sea is Crystalline. The Fréjus AOC is the closest to Nice and Cannes. It is made up of hills flanking the coastal Argens River, from West to east, and opens up directly onto the Mediterranean Sea. Eight communes in the Var department can use the Fréjus designation. The Bandol AOC vines are located between the Mediterranean Sea (near Marseilles) and the Sainte Baume Massif, on limestone terraces, which take advantage of the Mediterranean climate and the Mistral winds. The AOC covers around 45 independent growers who produce about 40 % top quality oak aged powerful reds based on the Mourvèdre grape and 55 % roses, which are some of the best in Provence if not the world. Whites are made up of Clairette, Ugni Blanc, and Bourboulenc grapes.
Aix Ancient capital of Provence, one of the most beautiful towns in France. Sightseeing to discover the Cours Mirabeau and the old town with its mansions from the 17th and the 18th centuries and its fountains. Its craftsmen keep on cooking traditionally one of the sweetest specialities in Provence, calissons d'Aix. Stroll through the heart of this market town and home to Cezanne's studio, though the old pedestrian streets to discover the cathedral, the townhall, the Corn Exchange and façades of the baroque ochre colored private mansions, the Mirabeau Court,and the many fountains like the 4 Dolphins Fountain, and the Fountain Precheurs.
Marseilles France's premier port and oldest major city, Marseille is in a surprisingly attractive setting, centred on the Vieux Port (the old harbour). People have lived here for 26 centuries, its mixture of cultures being so varied that Alexander Dumas called it "the meeting place of the entire world" Notre Dame de la Garde is a 19th century basilica with its a 150 ft bell tower decorated by mosaics and from where you can enjoy an exceptional view of the city, the islands of the Frioul and the Château d'If made famous by Alexander Dumas's novel the Count of Monte Cristo.
Nice Since the 2nd century AD, the light of the city has attracted many famous painters such as Chagall, Matisse, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Arman and inspired many artists and intellectuals so it is no wonder there are numerous museums of all kinds: Musee Chagall, Musee Matisse, Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret, to name just a few. Starting in the second half of the 18th century, many wealthy English people took to spending the winter in Nice, enjoying the panorama along the coast. The French Riviera has been a popular destination for European royalty for over 100 years. Just days after the railway reached Nice in 1864, Czar Alexander II of Russia visited, followed soon afterwards by Napoleon III and Queen Victoria, a frequent visitor who stayed in Menton, Grasse, Hyeres, and Cimiez in the hills above Nice, which later became the home of Henri Matisse.
Cannes Nineteenth-century Cannes can still be seen in its grand villas, built to reflect the wealth and standing of their owners and inspired by anything from medieval castles to Roman villas. Lord Brougham's Italianate Villa Eleonore Louise was built between 1835 and 1839. Also known as the Quartier des Anglais, this is the oldest residential area in Cannes. Another landmark is Villa Domergue designed by Jean-Gabriel Domergue in the style of Fiesole, near Florence. The Prince of Wales was a regular visitor to Cannes to watch Britannia sail in the yacht races.