Wines from the Côte d’Azur

Posted by on May 31, 2015 in Blog, Trips Abroad, Wine

Jacques Prévert, a well-known French poet and screenwriter, once wrote an ode to wine makers (Ode aux vignerons) in which he mentioned the Fête in St. Jeannet. While I did not have the pleasure of attending the Fête, I was able to visit the last remaining winemaker in the village of St. Jeannet, which is one town up the mountain from Vence. Vignoble des Hautes Collines de la Côte d’Azur is definitely worth the visit. Their vineyards have been there for 2000 years! Were they planted by the Romans or even the Greeks who were in this area first? No one really knows, but what they do know is that the Rasse family has been tending to the vineyard and making wine there for numerous generations.

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And not just making wine in the way that we see in most vineyards, but in a completely natural and very ancient way. There are no sulfites nor is anything added to the wine, other than the grapes. The sun and the heat do the work of any additives. Basically, all of their wines, white, rosé and red, spend from 3 to 18 months in ‘bonbonnnes’ these lovely glass containers that are set out in the Mediterranean heat, sun and even snow. Basically the heat causes the proteins to settle, thereby clarifying the wines, and the UV rays stabilize the wines.

We did a full tasting and I was very surprised with the results. I enjoyed all of the wines, but especially the complexity of the white and rosé. I have the name of the importer and will see what I can to do purchase some back in the U.S.

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