Famous throughout the world, the Gulf of Saint-Tropez is much more than a series of fishing villages bathed by the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. From Bormes-les-Mimosas to Ramatuelle, via Gassin, Cogolin and the village of Saint-Tropez itself, this territory offers the vineyards of Provence a diversity of tastes thanks to the geological complexity of its subsoil. Let’s go for a walk in an exceptional appellation.
Each colour has its own grape variety
In this marvellous corner of southern France, nestled between hills and red rocks sculpted by erosion, vines have been growing for 2600 years. The wines produced in the protected gulf of Saint-Tropez are united under the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) Côte de Provence, whose estates spread over 84 communes straddle the departments of the Var, Bouches-du-Rhône and Alpes-Maritimes.
Each colour of the beverage is the result of a complex combination of different grape varieties and the winemaker’s work. Syrah, Grenache and Tibouren produce tannic and powerful reds. The floral whites are a blend of clairette, semillon and vermentino, while the famous rosé wines, with their singular tones ranging from pale pink to salmon, are made with lesser-known varieties such as cinsaut, an old black grape variety with white juice, and mourvèdre, with its spicy and black fruit aromas.
A walk between vineyards and wine châteaux
In this AOC stronghold, some twenty renowned or more modest estates share the appellation, following precise specifications and particular production methods such as exclusively manual harvesting or biodynamic cultivation.
The commune of Gassin, perched on a hill plunging into the sea, is home to some of the most famous winegrowers’ houses in the region, as is the village of Cogolin, which produces a prestigious beverage thanks in particular to the work of nature and family know-how. In this enchanting land, the ideal sunshine accompanied by a gentle sea breeze naturally gives the women and men who devote their lives and energy to making a renowned wine.
From renowned estates to old bastides surrounded by garrigue and cork oaks, the subtle flavours of the Mediterranean can be tasted in each vintage of the Tropezian terroir.
Learn about oenology
To get a feel for the specificities of the vineyard and to awaken your senses, the estates offer a variety of activities depending on the time you have available, from 30 minutes for some to 2 hours or more. The most common one is a guided tasting session. You will visit the cellars and wineries where the wines are aged and you will discover the stages of production through a walk in the vineyards. The winegrower will not tell you all his secrets, but he will be able to talk to you passionately about his job and about this astonishing domestic climbing plant whose juice, called must, is transformed into wine through a series of processes based on maceration and fermentation.
You can complement this visit with a walk, mountain bike ride or even an electric bike ride through the vineyards and villages. Gassin, classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, offers an exceptional panorama of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez and the Maures massif. Other stops are recommended, such as the village of Ramatuelle with its famous Pampelone beach, or Bormes-les-Mimosas, which owes its name to the important flowering of this heady-smelling tree from mid-December to mid-March.
Some estates offer to go further by introducing you to oenology through the sensory discovery, sight, nose and mouth of classified wines. Whether you are simply curious or a great wine lover, a wine waiter will accompany you on your discovery and take you on a journey among the notes of fresh red fruits, grapes, redcurrants, strawberries, black fruits, blueberries, blackcurrants, exotic fruits, pineapple, mango, dried fruits, prunes, almonds or even citrus fruits.
Finally, you can take full advantage of the charms of Provence by reserving a table inside a wine estate to savour a typically Provencal cuisine, whether modern or more classic, and to familiarise yourself with the perfect match between wine and food.
Use a VIP service for your travels
What could be better than sitting comfortably on the plush seats of a luxury sedan or SUV and enjoying the remarkable view without the stress of driving. Our professional private drivers will take care of you, your comfort and your wishes. They will accompany you safely and discreetly on the roads of Provence and drive you to the domain of your choice. All you have to do is indulge your passion for tasting spirits without worrying in the least about the dangers of the road.
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