In the heart of Provence, the Var region contains the oldest vineyards in France. Today, Côtes de Provence, Bandol and Côteaux Varois are enjoyed across the world. Taste these wines, with their sun-soaked flavours and explore these marvellous wine estates and vineyards.
‘PDO’ and ‘PGI’ appellations
At least 3 ‘Protected Designation of Origin’ (PDO) coexist in the Var, as well as an Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) – ‘Wine from the Var region’.
Bandol, Côtes de Provence and Côteaux Varois are the appellations from this marvellous region, whose first grape varieties were imported 2600 years ago. Although most famous for rosé wine, their reds and whites have also built a good reputation. The reds from the Bandol vineyards are tannic and strong, thanks to Mourvèdre – an iconic grape variety. Rosé forms the majority of production, as the Var is the biggest global producer! Held in poor regard for a long time, the production of rosé wine is now highly technical, winning over our taste buds and reputable restaurant owners.
No matter the appellation, wines from the Var region are produced with passion by the winegrowers, who have often inherited family secrets. From the modest vineyards to huge, renowned estates, (not to mention the cooperative wine cellars!), they all deserve a visit and a taste. Discover flavours, a history, men and women, sun-soaked vineyards, and often not far from former Provençal farmhouses.
The ‘Maisons des Vins’
Each of the three PDO appellations has a ‘Maison des Vins’.
The Côtes de Provence Maison des Vins is in Arcs-sur-Argens. It has reception area in a modern building, which contains a ‘wine-library’ of 750 bottles of wine! The wine-tasting cellar is open daily to the public, to taste wines from the appellation.
The Bandol Maison des Vins is in Castellet. The ‘wine-library’, now open to the public, is opposite the Casino in Bandol, by the sea. It’s a new building entirely dedicated to wine-tasting. There is also a well-designed sales area selling outstanding wines from a range of vintages.
The Coteaux Varois Maison des Vins in Provence is in the Royal Celle Abbey. As a result, the appellation benefits from the prestige brought by this exceptional Provençal location to promote its values: authenticity, quality and tradition. As well as being a space to try these wines for the first time, the Maison des Vins has a model, conservatory vineyard in the cloisters of the Abbey and in its park
The Provençal Wine Route
Choose from over 300 vineyards, as you design your own route through the Var, or share those made by others on the site. You can also design your route according to your preferences: Pretty Things, Culinary Delights, Art and Culture, Expert, Couple’s Escape or even, ‘With the family’.
At each estate, you can learn more about its history, production process, vintages, grape varieties, and characteristics and equipment at each estate, as well as a large number of photos.