AOC since 1985 : 49 communes on 34 537 ha on land (86342 acres), 10 % only are planted amounting 4268 ha (10 670 acres) at Aix en Provence, Aurons, La Barben, Berre l’Etang, Coudoux, Eguilles, La Fare les Oliviers, Jouques, Lambesc, Lançon de Provence, Mallemort, Charleval, Martigues, Meyrargues, Mouriès, Pellissane, Port de Bouc, Puyricard, le Puy Ste Réparade, Rognes, Roquefort la Bedoule, Salon, St Cannat, St Chamas, Senas, Rians, Velaux, Venelles.
This vast area stretches from the Sainte Victoire Mountain (east) to the small Alpilles range (west), and encompasses the territory going from the bank of the Durance river (north), to Berre pond (south). The scenery concist in an alternation of parallel limestone height to the shore.
Maximum authorised yelding : 60 hl/ha.
Wines are essentially rosé (80%) reds (15 %) and whites (5%) is a small production.
Most of grounds are chalky-clayous with sometimes important variations
- chalky-clayous very stony.
- Clay mixed with marl and sandstone.
- Stones and gravels on clay.
- Clayous-sandy close to rivers Arc and Durance.
Deep grounds favour resistence to heat wave and climatic excess in summer. The great variety of terroir (combination ground/relief/climate) enables numerous growing strategy for winegrowers. Generally clear soils as limestone, gravelled and deep provide minerality (perfect for rosés and whites) ; gravel on clay are producing more powerful wines (tannins and alcohol) better for reds
Medtierranean marked by the dominant Mistral, coming from north, dry and cold. There’s more or less 2900 hours of sun during the vegetation period. Low rainfall : from 550 to 680 mm per year, raining essentially in spring and autumn. Violent in summer and autumn rainstorms may bring about devastation and erosion.
The littoral area takes advantage of the more humid influence coming from the sea. The western part undergo the Mistral characteristic condition, colder temperature from the Aples are to be seen on the north-eastern region, giving a sought after « fresness » for whites.
For whites : Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Rolles (Vermentino), Clairette blanche, Ugni blanc, Sauvignon.
For red and rosés : Syrah, Grenache noir, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Counoise and Cabernet-Sauvignon
A very small appellation : 42 ha (105 acres). This tiny AOC take place between two villages : Tholonet and Meyreuil, by Aix en Provence. Only 2 wineries are producing the excellent AOC Palette white : Château Simone at Meyreuil and Château Crémade at Tholonet
Grounds : its a small valley, north orientated, protected from winds by the Sainte Victoire mountain, with limestone and deep soils, giving finess to the wines.
Reds are powerful, tannic made to keep, rosé are fresh and aromatic, whites has got plenty of minerality and finess, structure and flavours (almond and limetree blossom).
Grape varieties :
For red and rosés : le Mourvèdre, Grenache noir and Cinsault must enter in the blending to at least 50%, 10 other varieties are authorized in which Tibouren
For whites : 80% (at least) of Clairette blanche with 10 other varieties.