Due north of St. Tropez lies Ch d'Esclans, the paradise for rosé lovers. Bought andrefurbished in 2006 by Sacha Lichine, the former owner of Château Prieuré Lichine in Margaux, he recognised the potential of its old vines (60-80 years old) and its terroir. He realised that they were capable of producing far greater and more complex creations than the friendly quaffing wines that are largely produced in the region. His goal was to create the best rosés in the world. With the help of Patrick Léon, Mouton Rothschild's former cellar master, in the space of only 2 years,he has remained true to his word by creating exceptional rosés, arguably the best in the world. They are complex and concentrated yet remain elegant and refreshing. "Make no mistake, these are exceptional wines." (Matthew Jukes, The Financial Times) mes)
France's most extensive appellation, the Côtes de Provence stretches from Toulon in the west to near Cannes in the east. The vineyards run from the sun-baked Mediterranean coast up into the Alpine foothills with their cooling influence. Rose wine accounts for four fifths of Côtes de Provence production. Formerly a drink for holidays only, consumption of rose is on the rise in both France and the UK and and the wines are more and more serious. Typically Cinsaut and Grenache are the most popular grape varieties. There is also a renewed focus on producing higher quality red wine by incorporating Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah into the blends, although combined they can only represent 30% of the blend. Plantings of indigenous white varieties are also increasing especially in the coastal areas.