Provence is overflowing with wineries that offer amazing experiences that go beyond the bottle. Head off to explore one of the pillars of Provençal culture, from stunning landscapes lined with vines to wine cellars and remarkable estates.
Unique Wine Experiences
At Château Fontainebleau du Var, in Le Val, it’s good to get off the beaten path. Nestled in the heart of Provence Verte, this biodynamic estate has concerts, horse-drawn carriage trips through the vines and forests, and even yoga classes by the water! Still thirsty for new experiences? Head to the Domaine Terre de Mistral in Rousset. There, you can try out the Casino des Vins, a concept based on memory and the senses.
Art in the Vines
Contemporary art lovers, make a beeline for Château La Coste at the Puy Sainte-Réparade. This ultra-modern winery houses an art centre sleekly designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, and an Art and Architecture walk that has works and temporary exhibitions from notable names in the art world. Another must for art aficionados is the Commanderie de Peyrassol in Flassans-sur-Issole where you’ll spot sculptures by François-Xavier Lalanne, Bernar Venet, Jean Dubuffet and many others where the vines and woodland groves cross paths.
…And Inspiring Vines
If you’re more a fan of 20th-century art, head to Château Vignelaure in Rians. Producers of organic red, rosé and white wine, this wineryhas an underground gallery in which you can contemplate works by Cartier-Bresson, Arman and Miró. The location, poetic and mysterious, inspired Danish folk singer Poul Krebs to write “Spirit of Vignelaure”. At Les Arcs-sur-Argens, Château Sainte Roseline, a cru classé producer, is also worth the detour. Its chapel contains works by Chagall, Giacometti and Maeght. Or go to the Mas de la Dame, at Les Baux-de-Provence. Painted by Van Gogh, mentioned by Beauvoir, this winery produces red, white and rosé AOP Baux-de-Provence and Alpilles IGP wines.
Committed to a sustainable development approach, the Rhonéa cooperative, in Beaumes-de-Venise, brings together the production of 236 wine-growing estates, including a great majority from Gigondas, Beaumes-de-Venise, and Vacqueyras. In Mormoiron, the Domaine Château Pesquié has opted for sustainable viticulture and photovoltaic panels to produce fresh and generous AOC Ventoux. In an exceptional setting at the heart of their vineyard in Lorgues, the Château de Berne has just started its organic conversion on a limestone soil of certified High Environmental Value. Finally, taste delicious organic AOC Palette wines, one of the smallest and oldest appellations in Provence, at Château Henri Bonnaud, in Tholonet.
Learn About Wine
After a stop at the Maison des Vins de Provence in Les Arcs-sur-Argens, the reds, rosés and whites of Provence will no longer be a mystery to you. Located at the heart of the appellation, the cellar offers 800 benchmark wines for sale at vineyard prices. For an introduction to tasting, grape varieties and the areas of the region, swing by Laboratoire Mouriesse in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Enthusiasts will flock to Domaine Ray Jane in Le Castellet, to admire their exceptional collection of more than 30,000 tools used by coopers (barrel makers) and in the vineyard. Don’t miss Domaine de La Citadelle and its Musée du Tire-Bouchon, in Ménerbes, which houses a private collection of more than 2,200 corkscrews from all over the world.
Want to taste exceptional wines in a modern, refined setting? Head to Domaine La Cavale in Cucuron, at the heart of the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon. Designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, this ultra-contemporary location offers a guided tour of the winery, tastings and a concept store. Or go to Aureto’s vineyard, La Coquillade, in Gargas. On the agenda: sensory-analysis workshops and a tour of the ultra-modern winery.