The terroir: The Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation zone (4,000 hectares) is located in the western part of the limestone-rich Provence. It extends from Durance to the Mediterranean Sea, from the valley of the Rhône to the west, and to the Saint-Victoire mountain to the east. It is between the relief constituted by a succession of mountain chains parallel to the coast – Nerthe, Fare, Eguilles, Trévaresse, Costes extended by the Alpilles – that we find the sedimentary basins in which the winemaking activity is concentrated.
The estate: Château Beaulieu is the largest property of the Coteaux appellation in Aix-en-Provence. Located in the Rognes municipality, the 180-ha winemaking estate extends to the heart of an extinct volcano located at 400 m in altitude. Its history is closely linked to the history of Provence. Constructed as a fiefdom by Henry III in 1576, Château Beaulieu was long the property of the counts of Provence. The most eminent families lived there, generation after generation, preserving a terroir with unique characteristics.
The people: 12 years ago, Pierre Guénant, an entrepreneur from the automotive industry, decided to give a second life to Château Beaulieu. He took over a vineyard and some deteriorated infrastructure, with the goal of relaunching the production of the great wines that had been produced there in the past (he co-invested in new winemaking facilities, together with the Cave Coopérative de Rognes) and to offer a unique luxury hotel destination.
At the same time, the Guénant family replanted several hectares of truffle oaks and almond trees to recreate the diversity of days gone by. Thanks to these initiatives, the estate would produce the raw materials for the famous calissons d’Aix confections as well as wood for cabinet-making.
The wine: Rosewood-coloured robe. Nose with notes of exotic fruits and white flowers. Fresh mouthfeel supported by excellent acidity and notes of guava and papaya.
Food pairing: Serve between 8 and 10°C with eggplant caviar, octopus salad, stuffed mussels or prawns.
Characteristic varieties: Three main varieties: Grenache, which provides notes of pink grapefruit and citrus, Syrah with its notes of berries, cherries and strawberries, and Cinsault with its delicacy and roundness.
The terroir: Château Ferry Lacombe is located 20 km east of Aix en Provence, at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire mountain, in the heart of the Arc valley: it is the most beautiful terroir in Provence to develop rosé wines: a clay-limestone soil, cold at night, very sunny during the day with the Mistral wind which dries the vines after rain, thus preventing the appearance of traditional vine diseases. The northeastern exposure of our vines promotes a slower maturing of the grapes, which helps the flavours develop fully.
The estate: The property extends over 130 hectares, 60 of which are planted with vines and the rest composed of Mediterranean forest with pine trees and green oaks. Eight different varieties are used to produce white, red and rosé wines. Rosé, emblematic of Provence, represents over 80% of our production and more than 300,000 bottles per year. Harvesting is carried out mechanically during the night to harvest grapes at the coolest temperature possible and thus promote the maceration time that is essential to the extraction of aromas. The stainless-steel, temperature-controlled fermenting vats make it possible to control the vinification temperatures and therefore the colours and aromas. The wine is vacuum-bottled and the bottles are stored in an air-conditioned warehouse, which guarantees the optimal conservation of our products.
The people: Michel Pinot bought this estate some 15 years ago after a 30-year career in mass merchandising. There, he undertook a massive reorganization of the vines (20 hectares were uprooted and replanted), the cellar, in which the storage capacity was increased by nearly 50%, and the bottling facilities. With the support of his children Mathieu and Alexandra, he now supervises two estates totalling over 110 hectares of vineyards and a potential of 750,000 bottles.
The wine: It is a rather pale, rose-petal-coloured rosé, with a nose marked by notes of strawberry and raspberry. The mouthfeel is round with fruits dominating at the beginning, then making way for floral notes and a finish of citrus fruit (pomelo and lemon).
Food pairing: Serve chilled, between 10 and 12°C (take out of the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving). It pairs well with starters, seafood or prawns seared on a plancha, grilled fish, roasted meats, fried rice and mixed salads and should be enjoyed young, within two years.
Characteristic varieties:Carignan Noir: a traditional variety from Languedoc, growing late but with an excellent maturity in Mediterranean climate. Suited to the production of pale, fresh and aromatic rosés. Grenache: the regional variety of the catchment area of the Thau pond. Well suited to its terroir, it can be used to improve light-coloured, generous rosés. Cinsault: southern variety with large fruit, drought-resistant. It yields wines that are generally fruity and pale-coloured, ideal for combining for rosé profiles. Syrah: a black variety that is very aromatic, for premium wines and suited to the production of fruity, indulgent rosés.
The terroir: Located on clay-limestone terraces known as Costières, overlooking the Etang de Thau, the vines benefit from a Mediterranean climate tempered by maritime influences. The nights are cooler and more humid than in the back country. It is a cool terroir, well-suited to the production of quality rosés.
The estate: The vineyard of Les Costières de Pomerols covers 1,630 hectares in the municipalities of Pomerols, Castelnau de Guers and Mèze in the IGP Côtes de Thau zone.
The 400 winemakers of the cooperative cellar produce an average of 120,000 hl, made up of white (48%), red (28%) and rosé (24%).
Vinification: grapes harvested at maturity (at 12 to 13°C) from plots with excellent sun exposure. Direct pressing. Juice selection, inertization. Settling for 48 hours at 8°C. Temperature-controlled fermentation at 16°C.
The people: Les Costières de Pomérols has been making superior-quality wines since 1932.
To adapt its offering to market demand, it regularly invests in the modernization and automation of its production facilities. In 2003, Les Costières de Pomerols obtained the ISO 9001 certification, which confirms the company’s deep commitment to quality.
The wine: Light-peach robe with litchi reflections, very luminous. Crisp, expressive nose with candy notes. An indulgent and balanced mouthfeel, developing elegant fruity notes, with a finish supported by an outstanding freshness.
Food pairing: This wine pairs perfectly with mixed salad as well as gourmet desserts or fresh fruit salads. Of course, it is also perfect when enjoyed as an aperitif. Serving temperature: 10 to 12°C. Consume within the year.