Wines of Provence - Technical Data

Wines of Provence - Technical Data


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Pierrefeu-du-Var. Bormes-les-Mimosas. T H E. P R O V E N C E. A O C S. France's first winegrowers. It was in 600 BCE that the Greeks founded a colony in ...



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Technical Data
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The Wines of Provence
France's first winegrowers Pmroouventnacien,  cihna inw.hat is today the Estérelaofn dp ansot rtvholecran nirce gaicotnivsi ty.o f ThPer ovseonucthe waerset It was in 600 BCE that the Greeks founded a colony in Marseille and plantedDmuoruinntga intsh ew esree csounbjdeacrt yt operieorde , ertohseiosneamnadi nrloy clkiym heosgtobnaec,k sw.ith alternating hills the first vines in the surrounding hills. sev Winegrowing then quickly spreadbeaftoerre.  Ab eitnhgi ckc olmaypelre teolfy  lisumbesmteorngee da nind A patchwork of lands and throughout Provence, but it wasn't untilawrgilo-calcareous (clay and limestone) flavors the Roman conquest in the first century sediments covered the region. BCE that the practice began moving up The turbulent past of Provence's The vineyards of Provence stretch from the Rhone Valley and spread throughout landscape was then closely related to East to West over nearly 200 km (120 the territory that would one day become that of its neighbor the Alps during the miles), from the Alpilles to the Estérel France. third period. As the long line of peaks in mountain chains. They are located mainly The wines produced in those times had a the North began to thrust up their heads, in the French departments of the clear color much like rosés, because the the sedimentary layers in Provence Bouches-du-Rhone and the Var, but a practice of macerating the pulp and skins began to slide and fold. The ancient small enclave also exists in the Alpes-was unknown. bedrock was also slightly raised in Maritimes. The appellations Côtes de eastern Provence. Provence, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence A complex geological past In a fourth period, these highly diverse and Coteaux Varois en Provence produce A detailed look at Provence's geological minerals (crystalline, limestone, volcanic, wines with a wide range of tastes and history quickly reveals an extremely etc.) were then sculpted by intense extremely distinct accents, but all benefit diverse patchwork, but it can be summed erosion, and the weathered remains of from the sun-drenched Mediterranean up in four main periods. these major mineral types would form climate. Provence's winemakers have During the primary period, large some of the most varied landscapes in traditionally been renowned for their mountains of crystalline rock masses France. In Southeast Provence, the clean, fruity and generous rosés, but have were formed. These formations formed crystalline bedrock is still present in the also made names for themselves with the bedrock for some rather intense Maures, Tanneron and Esterel mountain full-bodied, powerful reds ideal for aging volcanic activity in the eastern part of chains, which still contain many vestiges and light, delicate whites. Winegrowing: The essential art of the winemaker The work of the winemakers in Provence The heights of the "palissage" (vine Another special feature of our lands, due hinges above all on the specific climatic trellising) is relatively low to better resist once again to the Mediterranean climate, conditions of the Mediterranean: low droughts and withstand the gusty winds. is the low levels of organic materials in rainfall, unevenly distributed throughout The vines are pruned short, generally our soils. The large majority of our the region, and the predominance of the using the "double cordon de Royat" vineyards receive no chemical fertilizers, Mistral—strong northern winds that method, in which two spurs are left for but instead organic manure that comes purify the air and limit the effects of training. This method provides even mainly from the sheep herds in La Crau, parasites. distribution of the bunches over the fruit- an area in the Bouches-du-Rhône not far For these reasons, the density of the producing part of the vine, and also from our growing regions. plantations (2.5m2/plant) is adapted to ensures limited production to guarantee the potential rainfall of each different site. proper concentration.
Pierrefeu-du-Var Bormes-les-Mimosas
T H E  P R O V E N C E  A O C S
SYRAH These small, dark-red grapes with hints of blue produce dense and colorful wines, a bit harsh the first few years due to high tannin content, but very well-suited for aging. After a few years, these wines offer hints of vanilla, tobacco and candied red fruits. GRENACHE Originally from Spain but very common in the Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence wines, grenache confers subtle hints of red fruit to young wines. Over time, it produces more spicy and meaty notes. It gives wines greater body, fullness and intensity. CINSAULT A very tasty and eye-catching grape that is native to Provence, and was traditionally eaten as a fruit. Widely used in Provence for rosés, it provides freshness to wines, and adds balance in combination with more hearty varietals. TIBOUREN This delicate and elegant grape is an authentic product of Provence. It provides the region's rosés with subtle aromas and a full bouquet of fragrances. It is often the first choice for blending with other grapes that are native to the region. MOURVEDRE These small, tightly-packed grapes flourish in hot climates with limestone soils. Mourvedre grapes ripen slowly, enjoying the sea breezes as they mature to perfection. They produce full-bodied wines filled with character, and subtle tannins. When young, aromas of violets and blackberries abound. After years of aging, these wines are known for their smoothness, with characteristic notes of spice, pepper and cinnamon. CARIGNAN Well adapted to poorer soils, Carignan used to be widespread throughout Provence but is a bit harder to find these days. Grown mainly in the foothills, it produces full-bodied and generous wines with vivid colors. It makes an excellent base for assemblages. CABERNET SAUVIGNON Quite rare in Provence, it offers well-structured tannins, powerful yet not aggressive, that are ideal for aging. Its characteristic fragrances of green pepper and blackcurrant set it apart from other vine types.
A diverse range of vine types
COUNOISE Especially well adapted to sloping, rocky hills and hot climates, it is used to produce light-colored wines with strong fruit overtones. "WHITE" GRAPES LE ROLLE (VERMENTINO) Originally from Liguria but grown in Provence since antiquity. It is an extremely hardy grape with a great taste, which produces wines with citrus and pear aromas that are full-bodied and well-balanced, both smooth and flavorful. UGNI BLANC Originally from Tuscany, these are round, juicy grapes that produce clear, fruity wines known for their elegance. CLAIRETTE A very ancient vine from Provence, which only produces small amounts of fruit. Its oblong grapes produce aromatic wines with an excellent bouquet and hints of white fruits. SEMILLON A rambunctious, productive vine that can easily fall prey to rotting. Used only in small amounts, it provides wines with a pronounced bouquet that are full-bodied and full-flavored, offering elegant nuances of white flowers and honey. BOURBOULENC BLANC (DOILLON) This late-maturing grape is extremely hardy and rustic. Still quite rare in Provence, it gives wines a touch of elegance and a fuller taste. GRENACHE BLANC Used to produce naturally-sweet wines, it can also be used to obtain full-bodied dry wines with a long-lasting, highly original taste. SAUVIGNON Used to produce extremely elegant, dry white wines known for their subtlety and strong character. They are well balanced with note of citrus, boxwood and passion fruit.
The extremely diverse landscapes and climates in Provence have resulted in a wide range of vine types. More than a dozen are used regularly to produce the Provence AOC wines, and a few form the basis for the majority of the vineyards in the region. Others, however, are more site-specific and only used in certain appellations.
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1 - Extracting color and aromas: This is the key step in the rosé winemaking process, when the anthocyanins (pigments) and the aromas contained in the grape skins are extracted, either by direct pressing (direct pressure on full bunches of grapes or after stripping and puncturing the skins), or by letting the fruit macerate for a precisely-controlled time period (2 to 20 hours) at a set temperature between 16 and 20°C (maceration with skins). The choice of techniques depends on several factors, including: • the condition and maturity of the harvest • the vine types and their organoleptic (smell, taste, sight) potential • the proportions of vine types and the moment of assemblage • the desired organoleptic profile. 2 - Fermentation: In order to obtain the most elegant rosés possible, the alcoholic fermentation takes place on clear juices. First, the juice is transferred during the racking process to remove the largest portions of skin, pulp, soil, etc. The most commonly used technique is cold settling (static racking). The alcoholic fermentation takes place at a carefully controlled temperature between 18 and 20°C in order to conserve the maximum amount of aromas from the varietals and fermentation process. 3 - Aging and/or transformation: Malo-lactic fermentation is not systematically performed for rosé wines. They are aged in vats made of stainless steel or lined cement to conserve all the special characteristics of rosé wines. Rosé wines are often developed on fine lees, and some are also aged directly in barrels.
Bottled Vat or tun
Alcoholic fermentation with temperature controls ( < 18°C) Partial Malo-lactic fermentation Transfer/clarification Total Aging
Pressed juices Free-run juices Pressed juices Saignée Dynamic or static racking/transfer
fine lees
Blocking of malo-lactic fermentation
S Free-run Masking tripping(bursting) and/or and/or
Direct pressure Maceration with skins for 2 to 20 hrs. with temp. Reintroduction (if necessary) control of pressed juices based on desired visual and sensorial criteria.
T H E R O S É W I N E M A K I N G P R O C E S S Reception Grapes with white pulp of harvest and red skin
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Rosé wine tasting profile Different techniques for different types of rosé: From direct pressure: these are paler rosés with a wide range of colors, from rose petal to coral. The nose is fruity, floral, with hints of menthol, citrus (pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, etc.), fresh almonds, exotic and white fruits (peach, lychee, mango, etc.). They have a lively and light taste, with hints of citrus fruits. From maceration with skins: in general, the color of these rosés is more intense than those obtained blueberry, etc.), spices (cinnamon, through direct pressure, with all the pepper, etc.) and aromatic plants possible nuances between salmon and (scrubland, sage, etc.). peony. They have a smooth, structured taste, These wines give full expression to red that leave a pleasant freshness in the fruits (strawberry, cherry, raspberry, mouth.
The Rosé Wine Research and Experimentation Centre Provence is the uncontested leader in France's rosé wine market, and has developed an incomparable institution to provide precise technical data concerning our products: a research centre exclusively for rosé wines. Provence's wine industry professionals united together in the spring of 1999 to create the Rosé Wine Research and Experimentation Centre in the city of Vidauban, in the Var. SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH The centre is the only one of its kind in the world. It conducts scientific research to provide wine industry professionals with pragmatic information to help them improve their production. All of Provence's winemakers now benefit from the centre's findings. The centre's research staff explains and quantifies phenomena that used to be only determined empirically. They offer clear answers to technical questions asked by winemakers, helping them to better understand their "terroir" and firmly master the best techniques for making and conserving wine. ENSURING HIGHER QUALITY WINES The research staff at the centre also publishes its findings both nationally and internationally to further scientific progress in the field. In addition to its research, the centre also acts as a true storehouse of data concerning rosé wines, helping the rosé wine market progress and produce higher quality wines. The studies conducted by the centre demonstrate and encourage both diversity and excellence in all the wines proudly bearing the "Rosé de Provence" label. Wine Color Using red grapes Skin, seeds, pulp Elimination of skin and seeds Press V at or Vat Barrel Maceration period
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The color of Provence wines Rosé Only the skin of the grapes contains pigments. The color is determined by the amount of time the skin and the pulp remain in contact during the winemaking process. But each skin has a different amount of pigment (anthocyanes). The choice of grape types to be assembled is thus a determining factor for the final color of the rosé. The winemaking process itself also plays a crucial role. Wines made from direct pressure are normally paler ("flesh" or "salmon" colored). The maceration period for rosés made through the "saignée" method (literally, by "bleeding off" the juice), is also a determining factor, depending on how much time the pulp remains in contact with the colored skins. Another factor that explains the wide range of colors found in Provence's rosé wines is the diversity of its "terroirs" (different areas with distinct soil and climatic conditions). The Rosé Wine Research Centre has put together a liquid color scale that represents the main colors of Provence's rosé wines, and 9 specific names have already been determined: Redcurrant, Rosewood, Raspberry, Flesh, Pink marble, Salmon, Onion skin, Brick and Coral. Liquid samples have been gathered together in a box set used by professionals, and the colors have become references that provide an official status for rosé wines.
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RED WINES OF PROVENCE The red winemaking and maturing process
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Reception of harvest
Juice from Free-flow juice Juice from Free-flow juice Juice from Free-flow juice press press press Malo-lactic fermentation
RED WINE TASTING Red wine tasting: Traditional winemaking with short vat periods produces ruby and light garnet-colored wines, which are vigorous and fresh. The tannins are discrete. The aromas offer hints of red fruits and flowers such as violets. The wines are smoother if carbonic maceration has been performed. They have a lighter, ruby red color with pale garnet overtones. They offer more fruity and citrusy aromas as well. Aged wines: These are wines produced by traditional methods that are conserved in vats for longer periods. They are a darker red, with more 1 - From harvest to the cellar: entire bunch, then he will tend to use pronounced tannins. As they age, they reveal right from the outset, the winemakerhcarbosnti ci s mmacaecreartaitoend,  iinn  wa hvicath  tshate uernattierde ftmrauonirtnesi ,n css opbimeccpelose, mxl eea asrtohmemora oats:hn db r,oa trthoh eml icagothiltco  rpa ilnnadcn todsr.ap rAokrs  arttehedes must determine the most appropriate arve methods to be used. If he prefersswuitgha rc airb otnr adnisofxoirdem. eAd  sinmtaol l aqlcuoahntoilt y vioaf nbuecaoncmees  omf orree d dbervieclko paendde.  Igfa arngeetd,  iann od atkh, et haer owminaes stripping the bunches and puncturing s the grapes to make red wine, he will inter-cellular fermentation. may develop a more characteristic toasted flavor, most often use traditional long or short with hints of vanilla. vat periods. If he decides to use the
Wine that is ready Vat Barrel or tun to drink Highly-structured wine, for aging
2 - Period in vat: this is when the color, the structure and the aromas are extracted for red wines. During this phase, the harvest ferments, reaching temperatures of nearly 30°C (85°F). The Stripping Masking period of time the winemaker leaves the grapes in (puncturing) the vat depends on the characteristics of the grape and/or type and the desired product. Short periods produce wines that are ready to drink, whereas ol Alcoholicinfevramt.entation (lpoinggmere nptesr i+o tdasn fnaivnosr)  tahned  eaxrtoramcatiso, np of dpciynpghenols ro u more Short time Cotnetrmopll.edLong time structured, deeply colored wines ideal for aging. in vat: 4 – 5 days i > n1va3t:days 3 - Separation of solids from liquids: the liquid in the vat is drained (free run wine). The solid matter (the pomace) is pressed. The wine is Reintroduction then tasted to determine the assemblage proportions. If carbonic fermentation has been performed, the free-run juices may be added to the more aromatic, pressed juices. 4 - Aging – transformation: during the transformation phase, the red wine completes its malo-lactic fermentation (transformation of malic acid into lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria). This is when the winemaker ensures that the product acquires its personality. The wine is stored in completely airtight recipients (stainless steel, steel, cement) or in wood recipients (barrels, tuns, "boutes").
Grapes with white pulp Reception and red skin of harvest
Carbonic maceration A – CO2: carbon dioxide B – Whole grapes C – Punctured grapes D – Juice Time in vat: approx. 10 days
Transfer Clarification
Pressed juices Free-run juices Pressed juices Free-run juices Static or dynamic removal of sediment
Short maceration with skins + Direct pressure temperature control Reintroduction( < 18°C) (if necessary) of initial free-run juice or pressed juice
Reception Grapes with white of harvest skin and pulp Stripping(PuMnacstkuirningg)Free-runjuices and/or and/or
Blocking of malo-lactic fermentation Aging on fine lees
Alcoholic fermentation with temperature control ( < 18°C) Partial Malo-lactic fermentation Transfer/Clarification Total Aging Aging in barrels Aging
Vat or barrel
From the vineyard to the cellar: This is an extremely delicate step. White grapes are much more sensitive to oxidation, which can occur at almost any time. Extracting aromas: In general, the harvested bunches are stripped, the fruit punctured, and the juice is then taken directly from the press, or the fruit is placed in vats for maceration with the skins. In the latter case, the maceration period will be short and at a controlled temperature of 18°C (65°F), just long enough for the aromas of the grape to be transferred to the pulp. The free-run and pressed juices are initially separated, and then may or may not be assembled, depending on their aromatic potential. Fermentation: After the must is separated from the bottom deposits, it undergoes alcoholic fermentation in vats or barrels at a controlled temperature of 18°C (65°F). It is very rare for white wines in Provence to undergo malo-lactic fermentation. Aging – transformation – tasting: White wines can then be bottled directly, in which case they are quickly ready for drinking. They will then reveal the traditional characteristics of the vine types and winemaking process that were used for their production. They may also be conserved for some time on fine lees, producing a heavier wine with more aromatic complexity. Some winemakers like to let their whites undergo malo-lactic fermentation, conserve them in barrels for a few months and then rack them prior to bottling. This process produces wines better suited for aging, with more typical varietal aromas and hints of toast, vanilla, and cinnamon introduced by the wood recipient.
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Geographical situation of the AOC Côtes de Provence The area of production, the appellation Côtes de Provence, stretches over three French departments: the Var, the Bouches du Rhône, and a small section of the Alpes Maritimes, comprising 84 towns over 20,500 hectares. Geology The geological aspects of the Côtes de Provence "terroir" is quite complex, as it contains limestone (North and East), crystalline (South and West) and volcanic soils in the easternmost part in Frejus. The overall climate is Mediterranean, but there are significant variations due to the mountains and foothills and the influence of the sea. A mosaic of terroirs Due to the wide variety of "terroirs" (smaller regions with specific soils and climatic conditions) found in the region, there is not one but many different Côtes de Provence, each with its own geological makeup and climate. The recognition of these different terroirs is a decisive step towards creating more site-specific, high-quality wines. The appellation includes five major geographical areas, which also contain three specific "terroi " r denominations: Sainte-Victoire, Fréjus and La Londe.
C ô t e s d e P r o v e n c e A O C
Surface area: 20,500 hectares Authorized yield: Production: - 55 hl/ha for regional appellation 120 million bottles - 50 hl/ha for "terroir" brands Volume: 905,000 hl Average yield: - Rosé: 89% - 44 7 hl/ha - Red: 8% , - White: 3% C S ô o t urce d : e Provence Wine Syndicate es Winemakers: - 365 private producers - 39 cooperatives
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