We spent eight days on the French Riviera last fall, days full of sunshine and turquoise waters and almond croissants. Most of the afternoons were spent driving from town to town on the coast, using beautiful Roquebrune-sur-Argens as our base, but we knew it would have been a crime not to also explore the nearby wineries of Provence.
After debating whether to do a self-guided tour or a guided one, we decided to book with Eva at Wine Tours Provence. This simplified things since she did the driving (otherwise I would have had to, which would have limited my wine intake) and also chose the wineries and made arrangements.
I was treated to this gorgeous sunrise on my morning run, which I took as a good omen for the day. We had church in the morning and then Eva picked us up at our hotel around 1:30pm, and we were on our way!
Our first stop was Jas d’Esclans, which has a Cru Classé distinction. Here we had a tour of the wine-making facilities, then started our tasting. As you might expect, there were rosés, and we tried some whites and reds as well.
Next we went to the famous Chateau d’Esclans, home of Whispering Angel (which I’d honestly never heard of, but all my friends are in love with). I loved the decor, so feminine and French!
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They were completely out of Whispering Angel, but we enjoyed some of their other rosés. We didn’t get as much interaction with this tasting, was a bit more transactional and commercial than the other wineries, but an enjoyable stop nonetheless.
Chateau de Saint-Martin
This was definitely my favorite from a looks standpoint! I’m in love with that faded red building. With wine ties going back to Roman times and still a functioning castle for the Comte today (comte-erie?? help me out here), the chateau has not only awesome wines, but a historic home and beautiful grounds to enjoy. You can even stay here if you feel so inclined. Their website has lots of info on events, wines, and the history of the family.
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After wandering around a bit and seeing the cellars underneath, we sat down to enjoy our tasting, along with some amazing fresh tapenade and tomato jam. I was particularly fond of the dessert wine we had at the end, and bought a bottle to take home…which we ended up enjoying at the hotel bar the next night!
After Eva dropped us back off at the hotel, we wandered back into Roquebrune and were met with this absolutely breathtaking sunset…it seemed a fitting end to a perfect French day!
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Planning for visiting the wineries in Provence:
- As mentioned above, we booked with Wine Tours Provence
- The half-day tour cost us 316 euros for four people, and we visited three wineries; we had the option to do a special chocolate tasting too for an extra cost, but decided not to
- We also tipped about 40 euros total, but that was not compulsory or asked for
- Eva provided some water, which was much appreciated, but I’d recommend also bringing your own (I get super thirsty, and you want to pace yourself). She also provided some snacks but they were very underwhelming and super weird with wine, just as an FYI.
Have you visited the wineries in Provence? If so, what’s your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
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