An Insiders Guide to Drinks in Provence

We recently reviewed many activities in the Var that will keep those travelling with children happy and active throughout their holiday, yet the region is also a playground for adults, with many activities to keep groups, couples or those with older kids happy. Whilst the food regularly features on most travellers reasons for visiting the region, Provence also offers a variety of drink specialities.

Wine:

Provence is of course, world renowned for its Rosé wines that sell well throughout the world. The light pink coloured wine is sold from close to its source in St Tropez all the way to bars and pubs in England, Germany and Scandinavia for good reason. Simply put, vineyards in Provence produce fantastic wines and luckily for you, there are a plethora of vineyards to visit. Many of the vineyards offer tours, although it is always worth your while to call ahead to ensure that they are open and welcoming visitors on that day.

From Nice to Avignon, there are hundreds of vineyards and estates that open their doors to the public. Le Grand Cros, which was bought by Jane and Hugh Faulkner in 1989, Le Grand Cros is now internationally recognised in producing fantastic, crisp Rosé wines and has won several awards in recent years. What could be better than a trip to see where your wine was made?

Fayence and the surrounding perched villages are in the heart of Rosé territory, so unsurprisingly there are a number of vineyards right on your doorstep. Take an afternoon trip to the Domaine Grande Bastide, which offers wine of every colour. The property is located in Tourrettes and just a short drive away from the beautiful Lac de Saint Cassien, the ideal picnic spot to share a glass of wine after a visit to the vineyard.

Closer towards the coast and the villas we have recently added, is the stunning Domaines Ott’s Clos Mireille, which lies in between Hyères and Borme Les Mimosas and offers panoramic views over the Mediterranean. Many experts rate this as the Rosé to discover along the coast and in this region of the Var. The vineyard offers several varieties of Rosé and has been in the same family for over a Century in now. Techniques have been honed to perfection and visitors now benefit from this extensive practise to enjoy the finest Rosé.

Beer:

Away from wine and while beer is not something many would traditionally associate with the South of France, with production tending to be left to those in the north of the country, there is a local brewery trying to change all this. Colgan’s Brewery in Mouans Sartoux makes a variety of different beers, from pilsners, to pale ales, to IPAs and is a paradise for beer lovers. Whilst the brewery itself is close to our villas in Grasse and Vence and the owners themselves urge you to stop by for a drink, Colgan’s beer is now available in bars across the Var and the Alpes Maritimes, including the village of Callian. Afternoons spent watching the world go by with a beer in hand and some olives sound like the perfect holiday to us!

Mocktails:

The South of France is abundant with great produce and the local markets offer plenty of ingredients to experiment with. When the mercury starts to head towards 30 degrees, take advantage of these ingredients to make your own thirst-quenching mocktail. The South of France has so many lemons, that in the coastal town of Menton, they build castles out of them. Add the lemons to a bit of local crushed mint, some ice and water and you have a healthy, refreshing mixture. Local cafés will often serve ’tisanes’ with lemon and mint in as well, which helps digest those extra special long lunches.

March 2015