Provence is much more than the land of rosé. For centuries, the sun, the dry wind and soils have contributed to the diversification of vineyards in this region. Maybe one day, you will come to visit us at Domaine de Féraud, in Vidauban. In this case, you will have to remember our precious advice for all nature lovers and food lovers.
Viticulture and the culture of pleasure
The history of viticulture in the south of France dates back to the time of the ancient Greeks. The Phoenicians, whose current successors are now established in the Turkish province of Izmir, were the pioneers of French viticulture. In the 6th century BC, they planted the first vines probably on the hill of the Hermitage and Côte Rôtie anchoring the heritage of viticulture all around their colony, Massilia, the current Marseille.
While the method of maceration was not yet known at this time or at least not common, it is thought that the wines were rather pinkish than red. The wines of Provence have established the tradition of the French wine industry. The first French wines were probably rosé.
Later, the Romans undertook intensive viticulture in Provence, the first Roman province outside Italy. They exported wine abundantly to Rome. The Roman emperor Domitian even promulgated a law in the year 96 aiming to reduce the quantity of the wines of Provence to protect the sales of Roman wines.
After Roman times, traces of viticulture and wine trade in the south of France are lost. Thanks to the papal court of Avignon (1309-1423), the wine of the South reappears and participates in the history of the world. But for a short time because the power of Burgundy retain the success of southern wines by establishing customs barriers with Paris and excluding trade with England.
After a first recovery at the end of the 17th century, mildew and phylloxera - as later in other wine-producing regions - destroyed much of the vines of Provence in the middle of the 19th century. The recovery owes its success to two things: pest control - carried out via phylloxera-resistant American rootstocks grafted onto French grape varieties - and the legal protection of regions of origin (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée ) from 1936.
Viticulture in Provence
The wine region of Côtes de Provence was declared "Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée" on October 24, 1977. It is by far the largest AOC region in the south of France. Approximately 20,000 hectares are part of the AOC, the area extends over the departments of Var, Alpes-Maritimes and Bouches-du-Rhone. Most of the vineyards are in the Var, on the Mediterranean coast and on the north of the Massif des Maures. Here, in the heart of Provence and around Vidauban, you will find the Domaine des Féraud. To the west are the appellations Coteaux of Aix-en-Provence, Coteaux Varois in Provence and Palette. On the Mediterranean coast, east of Marseille, there are the small appellations of Cassis and Bandol and then near Nice, the name of Bellet.
Nearly 80% of Côtes de Provence production is rosé wine. With around 150 million bottles, Provence is by far the largest producer of rosé wines in France, accounting for 40% of French production and 6% of world production. 10% of wine production in Provence is for red wines and 5% for white wines.
Of the 24 grands crus classés of Provence since 1955, 14 of them are located in the wine region of Côtes de Provence ("Cru of Côtes de Provence")
Soils and climates
Viticulture in the Côtes de Provence region benefits from the mild maritime climate. The turbulent mistral blowing nearly 150 days a year, regularly provides dry air from the inland. The low moisture content promotes healthy vines and keeps diseases at bay. The mistral also blows on the clouds, allowing the sun to shine more than 3000 hours a year, a record in France! The generally rocky soils of this wine-growing region are able to store this heat optimally.
The average rainfall of 600 mm is distributed between autumn and spring to allow good regeneration of vines in winter and growth of plants in spring. The vines benefit from an early flowering and a hot summer, which ensures a perfect ripening of the berries. It is for this reason that the harvest begins at the end of August / beginning of September. The chaptalisation (sweetening) of the must is not only forbidden, it is for the vine growers of Provence, a secular word.
The vineyards of the Côtes de Provence appellation grow on stony, lean and well-drained soils, which are ideal conditions for producing good wines. That said, there are two fundamentally different types of soils: limestone soils in the north and very old shale rock masses in the south, near the sea. In terms of geological and geographical conditions, there are different soils at the same time. heart of the appellation of Côtes de Provence. Limestone soils on the slopes of the highlands and in the "Bassin du Beausset"; red stones, clayey and sandy soils dating from the Paleozoic (about 60 to 80 million years ago) in the massive crystalline of the Moors; granite and slate floor in the rocky massif of the Moors and up to the coast;
The conditions for awarding the Côtes de Provence appellation
The rosés and reds of Côtes de Provence - both subject to the same rules - are in principle "cuvées" (mixtures). This means that different varieties of grapes are either pressed or fermented together or that the final product of different varieties is mixed together. The composition of the cuvées (tank = fermentor) is called "assembly" in France. This relatively rare procedure in Germany, Austria and Switzerland is however used in the warmer producing regions to produce high quality wines from mixtures of varieties with different characteristics.
An "optimal" vintage will therefore taste better than each of its own varieties. The wines of Burgundy and Bordeaux, Tuscany or the Rioja region are like the wines of Provence, blends or "cuvées". The production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape can require up to 13 different grape varieties.
A wide variety of grape varieties is allowed for rosé and red AOC wines. The main grape varieties are Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Tibouren. At least two of these varieties should always be used. Since 2005, the proportion of the main varieties in the blend must be at least 70%, this figure will increase to 80% from 2015. The share of a single main grape must not exceed 90%. The varieties approved as "secondary grape varieties" with a maximum share of 40% are Barbaroux, Calitor, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. Barbaroux and Calitor grapes, however, have not been planted since 1995 and are gradually being replaced by higher varieties.
A maximum of 10% of the white varieties are allowed in the composition of rosés and reds. These are the ones used for the white wines of the Côtes de Provence: Clairette, Sémillon, Ugni Blanc and Rolle (Vermentino). Yields are limited to a maximum of 55 hectoliters per hectare. Calculated from the area of land necessary for the vine - maximum of 2.5 m2 - there is a maximum of 4000 vines per hectare.
The house of wines at Les Arcs
In the heart of the Côtes de Provence, you will find "La Maison des Vins Côtes de Provence", the restaurant "La Vigne à Table", the "Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence" and a wine cellar with more than 800 wines from the region sold at the price of the cellar. In addition, oenology classes are offered as well as tasting sessions offering different wines each week. In the gift shop, you will not only find wine-themed products, such as carafes, corkscrews and other hygrometers, but also specialties from Provence such as oil, jam, jam and more. marmalade and honey.
Address: RN 7, 83460 Les Arcs-sur-Argens, Tel: 04 94 99 50 20
Opening hours: July / August 10 am-8 pm; June / September Oct. 10h-19h; other months 10h-18h.
Distance: approx. 10 km or 15 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
Restaurant La Bastide de Magnans
A stone's throw from the Domaine des Féraud, stop and take a break in the excellent restaurant of Mr. Bee, La Bastide des Magnans. It's really worth it. Enjoy one of the best Bouillabaisse in the region or enjoy the "Aux Truffes" menu, sitting on the beautiful terrace under the tall trees. And of course, complete your experience with a glass of our Domaine des Féraud wine.
We recommend you to book in advance as the place and the food are very appreciated by the locals.
Address: La Bastide de Magnans
32 avenue du Marechal Gallieni, 83550 Vidauban, Frankreich +33 4 94 99 43 91
Marmalade and jam of Gassin
More than 450 delicious homemade marmalades and jams ranging from classic apricot to more exotic specialties such as caramel, ginger or vanilla essence await you at "La Maison des Confitures" on the Bourrian road near the perched village of Gassin. The village, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France, will enchant you with its houses covered with bougainvillea, its narrow streets and its magnificent panorama on the neighboring vineyards.
Address: 825 Route du Bourrian, 83580 Gassin. Tel: 04 94 43 41 58
Opening hours: All year long. Mon-Sat. 9h30-19 h, Sun 10h-13h
Distance: approx. 35 km or 45 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The honey of Draguignan
At the "Miellerie Manard", you can not only buy delicious honey but you can also learn more about beekeeping, building a hive or harvesting honey. During a tasting session, we can appreciate the variety and richness of the plants and flowers typical of the region. More than 10 types of honey are available, ranging from chestnut to rosemary or thyme to strawberry (Arbutus Honey). The honey of lavender and honey of flowers (honey of Provence all flowers) were rewarded by the "red label" guaranteeing the excellence of the quality.
Address: Le Mas de Salles, chemin de Saint-Michel, 83300 Draguignan
Tel: 04 94 68 05 10. Appointment by phone only.
Distance: approx. 20 km or 35 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The chestnuts of Collobrière
In the 19th century, chestnut and cork oaks were largely planted in the siliceous soil of the Massif des Maures. The surroundings of the Collobrière, in the heart of the Massif des Maures, have become an important center for the production of chestnuts. There are many delicacies such as chestnut cream, chestnuts, chestnut liqueur, chestnut jam and, in summer, chestnut ice cream available in the "Confiserie Azuréenne".
Address: 83610 Collobrières. Tel: 04 94 48 07 20
Open daily from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2.pm to 6.30pm
Distance: approx. 40 km or 35 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
Free picking in Roquebrune-sur-Argens
With the only equipment of gardening tools and a basket of harvest, free picking is synonymous with pleasure. The products vary according to the seasons, everything is natural and organic. We decide for ourselves which salad or tomatoes will end up in our basket. We pay after weighing at the end of our harvest.
Address: The pick of the Rock Avenue Gabriel Péri-D7, 83520 Roquebrune-sur-Argens. Tel: 04 94 45 57 90
Opening hours: August, every day 9.30-12.30 and 15.30-19h
September / October: Friday to Sunday 9.30-12.30 and 15.30-19h
Distance: approx. 25 km or 30 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
Goat cheese from Barjols
Martine and André Le Luc raise 40 to 50 goats on their 9 hectares of land and produce with great passion different types of raw milk goat cheeses. The animals live in an idyllic natural environment and are considered with humanity. For example, when kids need their mothers' milk during their first weeks of life, it is not used for cheese production. The milking takes place twice a day at 7:30 am and at 6 pm Goats can be visited twice a day, in the late morning and afternoon. Products can be purchased directly at the farm or in nearby markets.
Address: La Chèvrerie des Garagaies, Marseille Road, 83670 Barjols.
Tel: 04 94 77 18 92.
Sale of products every day from March to December: 8h-13h and 15h-20h.
Distance: approx. 57 km or 55 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The truffle market of Aups
The truffle market takes place every Thursday morning from November to February in Aups, the capital of the truffle of the Var. The fourth Sunday of January - the day of the Black Diamond - the whole place is scented with truffle smells. In each restaurant you will find truffle menus. There is also an exhibition where you can know everything about the world of truffles by learning about the rarer methods of pigs truffle researchers or truffle dog competitions.
Address: Place Frédéric Mistral and Foyer Romano, 83630 Aups.
Market day from the end of November to the beginning of March: every Thursday from 9.30am to 12pm.
Distance: approx. 37 km or 50 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The village of Turtles Gonfaron
The village of turtles was founded in 1988 and is located on the edge of the natural reserve of "the plain of the Moors". Its main objective is to ensure the survival and protection of the only species of local turtle in France, the "Hermann tortoise" (the Greek turtle Testudo hermanni). Home to about 1500 turtles of different species, the village is also equipped with a clinic that helps people wounded by cars or dogs. For 30 € a year, we can become the godfather of a turtle who will then wear our name or become a volunteer for at least 2 weeks to help the village.
Address: Quartiers des Plaines, 83590 Gonfaron, Tel: 04 94 78 26 41
Opening hours: March-November, daily 9 am-7pm.
Distance: approx. 20 km or 25 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
National Nature Reserve of the
Plaine des Maures
Domaine des Féraud is located in the middle of the National Nature Reserve of Plaine des Maures. The nature reserve was created in 2009 and covers an area of 5,276 ha. This territory contains exceptional biodiversity in the Mediterranean region, as well as a landscape of great value. The mosaic and the diversity of the natural habitats present (oak groves, pine forests, lawns, temporary ponds, maquis, sandstone slabs, meadows ...) constitute favorable environments for a large number of remarkable and even threatened heritage species. The Plaine des Maures is the most important Provençal core of the Hermann tortoise.
The Gorges du Verdon or Grand Canyon du Verdon are often considered as one of the most beautiful canyons in Europe. 30 km long and formed by the Verdon River, the canyon takes its name from its amazing turquoise green color, one of the distinctive features of the place. The most impressive part lies between the towns of Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, where the river has dug a ravine at a depth of 700 meters through the limestone mass. At the bottom of the canyon, the Verdon River flows into the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon. The Gorges du Verdon are only an hour drive (about 70 km) north of Vidauban. Because of its proximity to the French Riviera, the canyon is very popular with tourists, who can walk there, rent kayaks to travel on the river, or go hiking. The limestone walls, several hundred meters high, attract many climbers. You can visit the Gorges du Verdon all year round. April to June and September / October are probably the most pleasant months to visit.
The Thoronet abbey
Located just 20 km from our Domain, the Thoronet Abbey is the "wonder" of the Cistercian abbeys. Built between 1160 and 1230, the Thoronet abbey is, with Silvacane and Sénanque, one of the three Cistercian abbeys of Provence. A masterpiece in danger after the Revolution, its restoration began in 1841. An example for contemporary architecture. The purity and simplicity of the volumes, essentially dictated by the organization of community life, inspire generations of architects. Le Corbusier visited the site in 1953: "At the time of" raw concrete ", blessed, welcome and greeted is, during the road, such an admirable meeting. "
The butterfly house in St.Tropez
More than 4500 butterflies and beetles are exhibited in the "House of Butterflies" and have been collected in France by Dany Lartigue in recent decades. The variety and presentation of the collection are impressive: most butterflies are exposed on a painted background to show their camouflage in their natural environment. Thus, each unique piece is a true work of art that has been created with a lot of love and passion.
Address: 9 rue Etienne Berny, Saint-Tropez. Tel: +33 (0) 4 94 97 63 45
Opening hours: daily from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2.30 pm to 7 pm, except Sundays.
Distance: approx. 38 km or 50 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The Rayol-Canadel Botanical Garden
"The Garden of the Mediterranean" is superbly located on the coast, just southeast of Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer. A walk takes us to several gardens illustrating the different botanical regions of the world (South Africa, Australia, California, Chile, Canary Islands) as well as the subtropical climates (Mexico, Asia, New Zealand, South America). It takes about 1h30 to complete the marked trail of 2km. Guided tours can also be organized. Audio guides are available to the public in several languages. After exploring nature, visitors can sample garden-inspired menus at the Gardeners' Coffee, an open-air restaurant. In the shop, there are books and gifts on the world of botany.
Address: Domaine du Rayol, Avenue des Belges, 83820 Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer. Tel: 04 98 04 44 00
Opening hours: From February to mid-November, every day except Sunday, 9.30am-6.30pm.
Distance: approx. 50 km or a 1h drive from Domaine des Féraud.
The chestnut festival at La Garde-Freinet
At a time when the cork industry was booming, Garde Freinet was one of its main production centers. Although cork oaks still line its streets, this village "Massif des Maures" with its flower gardens and steep streets now lives from its vineyards and chestnuts. The event takes place in the autumn, on the 3rd and 4th Sunday of October, the "Chestnut Festival" is celebrated.
Distance: approx. 17 km or 23 minutes by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The lavender festival in Valensole
A longer trip takes us to the Plateau du Valensole, located in the middle of a mountainous valley of Provence with hills dotted with fields of lavender, wheat fields and almond trees. When the lavender fields turn into flowers, they offer a unique sight, a real sea of lilac and yellow. The culmination of the summer takes place during the lavender festival, the third weekend of July. The buzzing of the bees coming to collect the nectar is very impressive. Valensole lavender honey is famous, as is its beekeeping museum, "the living museum of the bee" with its 50 colonies. A lavender distillery can also be visited on the estate of Jean-Paul Angelvin.
Distance: approx. 95 km or 1h40 by car from the Domaine des Féraud.
The mushroom festival of Saint-Trinit
Once a year, this sleepy village at the foot of Mont Ventoux, becomes a mushroom capital with its experts and collectors. The mushroom festival takes place every year in October with an exhibition of more than 100 species of mushrooms and an extensive program for young and old. Nearby is Sault, one of six French squares that has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage. You can admire nature in all its splendor, especially in summer when wheat and lavender are in bloom.
Distance: approx. 185 km or 2:40 by car from the Domaine des Féraud.