Provence hails ‘qualitatively stunning’ rosé vintage

Provence winemakers are celebrating an outstanding vintage for the region’s rosé, with special potential noted for the region’s reds, according to the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP).

The 2015 harvest in Provence is expected to yield 160 million bottles' worth of grapes (Photo: Westbury)

The 2015 harvest in Provence is expected to yield 160 million bottles’ worth of grapes (Photo: Westbury)

As the harvest draws to a close in Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence – having started slightly earlier than average for the region owing to favourable weather conditions – the latest estimates are for “a 2015 vintage of superb quality”, said CIVP President Alan Baccino.

“The current health status of the vineyards is impeccable, thanks to the continuing warm, dry weather and the cleansing effects of the Mistral,” Baccino explained.

“The quality of the harvested grapes is very promising and the juice extracted so far appears to be nicely balanced, which is of course encouraging for the production of top quality rosé, red and white wines.

“Notably, there seems to be a particularly interesting potential for red wines in this vintage. 2014 bore an unusually generous harvest, so by comparison this year is a return to average yields and qualitatively we are on to a stunning vintage.”

Although Provence, much like the rest of France’s winegrowing regions, experienced a hot, dry summer, this was preceded by a gentle, rainy winter in 2014 which allowed for good reserves of groundwater, Baccino said.

The soils still contain the majority of the groundwater and this has been replenished by some recent, light rainfall, he added.

This is a pattern has historically created optimum conditions for producing Provence wines.

The sustained warm, dry weather has been particularly good for the phenolic ripening of Provence’s red grape varieties – principally Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault.

An estimated 26,000 hectares of AOP vineyards will be harvested across Provence this year. The grapes will go into the production of up to 160 million bottles of 2015 vintage wine, most of which is rosé.

Production across the Côtes de Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Coteaux Varois en Provence appellations is around 88% rosé, 8.5% red and 3.5% white. 

Provence produces around 39% of all France’s AOP rosé and 5.6% of rosé drunk across the world.

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