France is renowned for the production of wine, with many types of wine enjoying local and global prestige, and wine production regions such as Champagne, Bordeaux, Provence, Languedoc are always important stops for tourists. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon, Merlot and other French wines are household names, and the stereotypical image of a quiet French village almost always includes a vineyard or winemaking, such is wine’s influence on French culture and identity.
There are many winemaking ranges spread around France, but the two that are relevant to us are the regions of Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon, on France’s Mediterranean coastline. Languedoc-Roussillon is close to the Spanish border and is the largest wine-producing region in the world: most French wine carried by supermarkets will come from here, whereas Provence has a long tradition of winemaking dating back to the Roman period, and has an affinity for superb red and rosé wines.
Numerous festivals occur year-round in the South of France, such as Les Primeurs d’Oc Festival in Beziers, Salon des Vignerons et de la Gastronomie in Marseille, Salon Vin et Terriors in Toulouse and Fête des Vins et Montgolfiades in Duras providing superb wine, food and several entertainment venues, such as theatre, dance, and even a hot air balloon ride in Duras, giving you a grand view of the local vineyards.
Particular vineyards of note that are open to the public include: Domaine Les Cascades in Languedoc, which is a small but self-sufficient and all-organic vineyard producing some superb wines. Domaine Treloar in Roussillon offers some of the best wine in the region courtesy of British vintner Jonathan Hesford, with Hesford’s wines a favourite in any Michelin-Star restaurant. Chateau la Canorgue in Provence has the rare distinction of being featured in the 2006 film, A Good Year, with their all-organic wine earning high praise.
If you like your wine refined and complex, there’s little better than visiting the South of France during the wine harvesting period and getting a taste of the best French wine. If you’re looking for a super yacht charter based in the South of France with access to ports around the western Caribbean and the Mediterranean, You Charter Direct provides several cruising locations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean so you can see some of the culture of these regions for yourself.