Provence is the region on the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France known for sun-drenched Lavender fields and an easy-going, gracious attitude toward life. Until the last few decades it was also known for producing large quantities of unremarkable rosé, often sold in bulk. Today its most famous wines are still rosés, but their quality has improved dramatically. Notable red wines are also being made in Provence, particularly in Bandol, a tiny appellation east of Marseille. The largest appellation is Côtes de Provence. Other appellations include Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Côtes du Luberon, Cassis, Bellet, Palette and Les Baux de Provence. Red and white wines are made throughout the region, despite the attention paid to rosé. Red wine grapes grown in Provence are Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and some Cabernet Sauvignon. White wine grapes are Clairette, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Bourboulenc and Ugni Blanc.
Fans of Cabernet Sauvignon appreciate Mourvèdre. It’s a full-bodied Spanish native. It is grown prominently in Bandol, France, Paso Robles, CA and many other regions. It is often blended with Grenache and Syrah and can be used to make rosé and port-style wines.