One of our priorities for our trip to Nice was to try some good wine and food. I searched a bit for wine tours in the region, but they must not be very popular as I only found one or two operators. We booked a day long tour to Provence with Grape Tours and I’m glad we did.
We met the other two couples (both American) in the Nice harbor, our driver picked us up and we headed inland to find some wine! During the tour, we stopped at 3 wineries and had a lunch with wine pairings. Our first stop was Chateau D’Esclans, which was full of high tech wine making equipment, and is run by a man who was determined to make the best rose wine. He was successful, and their Whispering Angel is one of the most popular rose wines in the US, and the Garrus is among the most expensive rose wines in the world. They had a laser grape sorting machine that cost 200,000 euros and the wine was delicious!
Our next stop was to Chateau de Saint-Martin, a more traditional winery. They were preparing for a wedding that day, and we may have walked through the rehearsal… We ate some delicious venison in a jar with our wine, which was again delicious.
Our final stop was Chateau St Julien D’Aille, where we toured a younger vineyard, and sampled even more delicious wines. I don’t pretend to know tons about wine, but we did learn that the reason that rose wines are pink and not red is because they are made with red grapes. The longer the juices are exposed to the skin during the crushing process, the darker the wine will be. We were also advised that roses are best as young wines, preferably a year or two old. (See, we learned things, despite drinking all that wine!) In the end, I left with some new friends and a new appreciation for wine making and rose!