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Autumn in the French Riviera winds down summer’s hectic pace, but the sunny days linger and cover the rolling landscape in a golden glow. It is a time of harvest and abundance, which is best experienced at the region’s highly renowned vineyards. Saint-Tropez and the Côtes de Provence are the epicentre of the region’s wine production, where rosé wine accounts for a staggering 80% of the market. Locals have an insatiable taste for Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, the principal grape varieties grown on the sun-soaked fields inland from the Mediterranean. Take a Saint-Tropez helicopter transfer to the region and try some Provence Rosé wine yourself. It’s the ultimate day trip for holidaymakers and wine lovers alike.
Château de Minuty
The legendary Château de Minuty is one of the larger vineyards that is located in Saint-Tropez’s beautiful countryside. While the estate has been family-run since 1936, the building and its small chapel were built in Napoleon III’s era. The very deep, stone-free soil and maritime climate is particularly good for the Grenache varietal, which has been coined the “King of Rosés”. The estate also grows Tibouren, Saint-Tropez’s signature grape. Since the vineyard faces southeast it benefits from the sea air coming from the Mediterranean which acts a natural drying mechanism for the vines and prevents disease from developing.
Chateau de Minuty is a welcoming and picturesque destination for a spot of wine tasting in an area bordered by protected woodland. You’re sure to leave with a bottle or ten of the estate’s elegant rosés, such as its iconic Chateau Minuty 281 or an intensely flavorful bottle from the estate’s M de Minuty Range. In any case, you will find the brand stocked at the most prestigious hotels on the Côte d’Azur and other upscale restaurants around the world.
Château Barbeyrolles is a modestly sized but blissful haven of greenery on the Saint-Tropez peninsula. It was acquired by the Sumeire family in 1977, who have run Provencal vineyards for three generations. The 12-hectare domain prides itself on its organic farming methods using animal manure without chemical weed killers, as well as its manual harvesting practices for high-quality vinification. The vines also benefit from ancient soils that have grown wine for centuries just inland from the coast in the Maures hills. The Chateau’s signature pale Pétale de Rosé wine was created in 1985 as the result of experimentation pressing entire red Grenache grapes with a Champagne press.
Château d’Esclans has a wine called Garrus which has been commended by critics around the world as the best rosé in the world. Made from the 80-years-old vines on a hilltop in Provence, the mouthwatering rosé has won awards for its crisp and complex taste. The ultra-premium wine has redefined the way people view rosé. No longer simply just an easily drinkable wine for unsophisticated mass consumption, in Garrus it is now approaching something closer to its red and white fine wine counterparts. The evocative flavours of grapefruit and citrus have won over a legion of sommeliers and drink critics and it remains a benchmark of Côtes de Provence rosé wine.
The Château is located in La Motte, near the Gorges de Pennafort, 25 kilometres from the city of Fréjus.
Reaching the vineyards couldn’t be easier and Saint Tropez helicopter transfers enable passengers to travel from Nice, Cannes and other Riviera destinations in a matter of minutes, rather than hours. This makes a day trip to the Côtes de Provence vignobles an easy and enjoyable prospect. Just remember to pick up some of the famous regional rosés to take home with you.