Explore France with these 15 wines

TV host Rick Steves reveals the sunny slopes of Provence, in France’s most southeastern corner, are known for lavender, ancient villages, Haussmann towns, fine art, landscapes bucolic and rosé wine. Some of France’s most historic cities, from Avignon and Marseille to Aix, Cannes and Nice, make up the Côte d’Azur.

Palate Clubs reports that the area is dotted with vineyards, some planted by Greek settlers in 600 BC. Red grapes like Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah flourish in the region, alongside dark grapes like Carignan and Tiburon. There are also aromatic white grape varieties such as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Sémillon and small plantations of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The region is dominated by its red, white and rosé blends.

Regions like Côtes de Provence, Bandol, Cassis, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and Les Baux-de-Provence are renowned for their wines, while 100-acre little gems like Palette are unknown, per Wine Folly . Provençal wine estate Château Simone has been producing world-class wines on its vineyards adjacent to the château since 1820, but vines have been cultivated in the region for over 1,000 years. Its vines, scattered in wooded and wild spaces, are strictly organic. Château Simone expertly crafts red and white wines that express its terroir, but it’s the old vine rosé – with its notes of strawberry, peach, lemon zest and chalky mineral – that pleases everyone.

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