HISTORY OF BANDOL WINE
Explore, discover, experience the best of the Bandol wine domaines in Provence with the Bandol Wine Tours team.
the 6th century B.C., the Phocaeans landed on the shore of Provence where they later founded their colony of Torroeis. Along with their amphoras, they brought the civilization of vine and wine. Located in the vicinity of the village of Le Castellet, the vineyard clung to the hillside with vines planted in terraced rows.
This privileged site in Provence provided ideal conditions for the rapid development of vine growing, one of the most important economic activities in the ancient world. There started the history of Bandol wine. The terroir in those days was the same as it is today, lying within limits marked by the geological barriers of the Gros Cerveau mountain to the south, the Mont Caume to the east and the Massif de la Sainte-Baume to the north, with the Gulf of Bandol as a natural outlet to the sea.
The development of maritime trade in Provence, together with the skill of enterprising wine growers brought early fame to what was going to become Bandol wine. The ability of wine to travel by sea was at the origin of the port of Bandol. Later, a deep-water harbour was constructed especially for this trade. This calling grew stronger and stronger until the end of the 19th century. From this bay, sheltered from both prevailing winds – the east wind and the Mistral – the wine trade could expand and prosper. Louis XV enjoyed Bandol and had it served at the royal table. In 1846, as many as 9,600 barrels where shipped and the town echoed with the blows of hammers from over a hundred cooperage workshops. The Bandol vineyard acreage in Provence reached its highest point around 1870.
A decree dating from November 11th, 1941, created the controlled designation of origin (AOC) “Wine of Bandol” or “Bandol.” Nowadays Bandol AOC is one of the most internationally recognized wines of the Provence regions.