This summer the winemakers of Les Baux-de-Provence celebrated their 20-year anniversary as an appellation. The winemakers group, Les Vignerons de Baux, hosted a party at the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Baux (a medieval commune famous for its towering citadel). The setting was particularly fitting to recognize the distinctive terroir of Les Baux wines because the venue, home to a multi-media exhibition site, is actually in the limestone quarries that were active from 200 BC to 1935. On the evening of the party, guests sipped wine while photography of the region was projected onto the 14-meter high walls of the former quarry. The event’s integration of distinctive visual, textural, and taste qualities, like those in wine, reflected the unique characteristics that distinguish one appellation from another.
While Les Baux-de-Provence Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) is unmistakably Provençal in landscape (think stone, herbs, olives, sun, and wind), it is neighbors with the Rhône Valley, a wine region known for their rich, red blends of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Les Baux red wines have the heft and body of a Southern Rhône wine, baked with the garrigue and olive essence of Provence. (Les Baux is a designated appellation for olives and olive oil.) The marriage of the two flavor palates and the dedication to sustainable, organic practices was the primary impetus, over twenty years ago, to explore separating from the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation.
Les Baux-de-Provence is located within the Bouches du Rhône department of Provence. Although the appellation is small and relatively new, the twelve winemaking estates have earned well-deserved praise for their predominantly organic and biodynamic practices. Not yet a legislative mandate, the men and women who make wine here employ earth-friendly practices as a matter of tradition and principle. As much as 85% of the area is devoted to an organic or biodynamic approach.
To read the full article, visit Provence WineZine, where this piece is featured in the Wine Snoop Report. Incredible images from the event capture the light and immense presentation of the moment.
Photo Credit for all images: © Lionel Moulet / Les Vignerons des Baux de Provence.
Photo Credit for all images: © Lionel Moulet / Les Vignerons des Baux de provence.