That AOC spreads on 8 villages les Baux-de-Provence, Eygalières, Fontvieille, Le Paradou, Maussane-les- Alpilles, Mouriès, Saint-Étienne-du-Grès and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
AOC since 1995 for reds (67 % of the total production) and rosés (30% of the total production), white still bears the mention of Coteaux d’AIx.
80% of the growers in the appellation are organic or biodynamic.
Reds must be matured one year before marketing.
Maximum yielding : 50 hl/ha.
Planting density : 4 000 stump per ha.
Cordon pruning or « gobelet », bearing maximum 12 spurs per stump.
Grape varieties :
For reds : traditionnal mediterranean grapes based on Grenache noir, Syrah and Mourvèdre that must amount to 60 % of the blending. Cinsault, Counoise and Carignan, limited at 30 % maximum of the blending and Cabernet-Sauvignon with 20 %maximum.
For rosés : the same rules, maximum 10% of Cabs in the blending. They must result from the bleeding method of a vat.
For whites : Marsanne, Rolle (Vermentino), Clairette, Grenache blanc, Sémillon,
Les Baux AOC are spreading on both sides (north and south) of the small Alpilles range. Most of the wineries settled on the northern orientation.
Vine are planted on slopes and terrasses. Grounds are deep and stony, made of mixture of clay and limestone (argilo-calcaires), limestone and marl or sediments of sand and gravels. Quality of clay in the Alpilles garanty a perfect nutrition process, a fine roots development and resistance to drought.
They provide a good draining ability, very important in a country undergoing devastating heavy rainfall in autumn.
Typically mediterranean with long and dry period of drought, lot of sun during the life cycle, mild witers. Big rain amount unfavorably spread during the seasons. Early growing conditions and exceptional frosts characterize that part of Provence.
The mountain is playing an important role in the micro-climate. The northern side is cooler and more humid, wine are fresher ripening later, on the souhern part, wines are more heady and fulbodied.
Vines a scattered within forest and garrigue : the vegetaion and scenery are protecting vines from chemical agressions and keep are relative freshness in summertime.
Under the Mistral influnce from the Rhône Valley, that wind prevent vines from cryptogamic diseases as drying the leaves preventing rot. That one of the main characteristic of the Baux AOC.