Wine growing in Provence is an ancient and traditional art. As summer eases to a close, a host of festive events announce the start of the grape harvest – and our exciting autumn events schedule. Calling all wine buffs!
Wine fairs trooping the colour
Uniting people around Bacchus
Now a genuine institution, the grape harvest fair in La Cadière-d’Azur brims over with warmth and authenticity. On the programme: a cart procession celebrating the start of the harvest and tasting of the delicious new Bandol vintage. Meanwhile, in Pierrefeu-du-Var, it’s time for the Aumérade Days: a traditional wine grower’s soup and selection of cheeses paired with fine wines courtesy of Château de l’Aumérade. Last but not least, be sure to book the last weekend of August, in Avignon: the Ban des Vendanges wine festival held at the Jardins du Rocher des Doms is a star event on the wine calendar, celebrating the start of the grape harvest in the Rhône valley and promising an inimitable immersion in the world of wine… We love the parades and plethora of activities on offer throughout the day – not to mention the fabulous wine and local produce tasting and after-dark dancing. An absolute must!
Open days at the local vineyards
Meet and greet our passionate growers
Another event you won’t want to miss: the “spécial vendanges” open day at the Clos des Roses in Fréjus celebrates the grape harvest in style. Accompanied by a passionate and uniquely-knowledgeable team, visitors enjoy an in-depth delve into the workings of the harvest, topped with plenty of tasting. Cheers! As we move into September, it’s time for Les Vendanges des Demoiselles in La Motte: an exciting line-up of oenology workshops, including special sessions where you can learn how to distinguish various vintages from their bouquet… Meanwhile, Rhonéa in Vaucluse is a modern yet authentic wine cooperative offering cellar tours and tasting to get your wine expertise up to speed! You can even enjoy a treasure hunt there. Last but not least, roam the Pierrevert wine route in the gorgeous Alpes de Haute-Provence wine growing area – the reddening vines are weighed down with their precious cargo when autumn comes around.
Become a grape picker for a day
A fine bunch…
Savour a tasty and energizing breakfast at Château Paradis in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade before getting down to business with a pair of secateurs in hand, gathering grapes and filling buckets! After a “wine apprentice” lunch at the heart of the estate, it’s time for a cellar and winery tour, then a stroll in the gentle autumn sunshine of Provence. Taking part in the grape harvest is also a great opportunity to plunge into the South of France’s warm and welcoming lifestyle: in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you can enjoy a picnic in the company of local producers keen to hand down their artisan know-how. The wine growers of Domaine Beauvalcinte enjoy sharing the fundamentals of their ancient techniques with visitors – from fermentation to ageing you’ll learn everything there is to know about winemaking from the grape to the glass. And if you want to unlock the secrets of our finest vintages, try grape stomping – an experience to remember par excellence!