Explore, discover, experience the best of the Bandol wine domaines in Provence with the Bandol Wine Tours team.
Nowdays with the scrupulous observance of the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) regulations, the Bandol wine growers in Provence have to follow strict quality guidelines. The plantation density must be of at least of 5,000 vines per hectare. Spur pruning, i.e. leaving a two-bud spur on the trunk, is required. As early as June, the “green harvest” lightens the burden on the vine: the excess bunches are ruthlessly cut off to leave only five to six bunches per vine. The Bandol Provence wine growers have a motto that expresses this voluntary limitation of the yield : “One vine, one bottle”. Chaptalization is banned as well as “any enrichment or concentration operation, even within the limits of the legal prescriptions in force”. Machine harvesting is forbidden. The grapes are picked by hand to obtain a clean and carefully selected harvest. Most Bandols are practically hand-crafted and this factor alone guarantees unique flavours and superb quality.
However severe the appellation requirements may be, they will not be sufficient if the vigneron does not take the greatest care of their production. Maturation is essential in Bandol, especially for red wines. The oak barrel traditionally required for the AOC is perfectly suited to the tannic structure of Mourvèdre. Concerning maturation, the wine growers endeavour themselves in bringing the wine to a state of balance through a process of slow, natural stabilization. At each stage of the process, wines are rigorously selected and tasted to meet the AOC quality requirements.
Mourvèdre is an upright bush vine that bears its stems with majesty. Nowhere else is Mourvèdre added in such proportions to the varietal mix. Bandol is the only appellation wine in which Mourvèdre is the dominant grape variety: it must account for at least 50% of the blend. Whereas the authorised yield is 40 hectolitres per hectare, the Bandol Provence wine growers do their best to control the productivity of Mourvèdre and keep it within lower yields (25 to 30 hl), so as to express its essence.
Mourvèdre is a late season grape variety that keeps the wine grower waiting until it reaches its full potential and reveals its virtuosity. All the excellence of the Bandol terroir, soil, subsoil, optimal sun exposure, sea influence and prevailing winds is necessary to obtain beautiful, slow and full maturity. Rich in tannins, it contributes to the extraordinary ageing ability of Bandol red wines and gives them an original and complex typicity, their distinctive feature. Mourvèdre also gives rosé wines power and remarkable ageing ability. This superb grape variety has found its place of choosing in Bandol.
The rosés of Bandol are characterised by spicy and earthy flavours. It is said about Bandol Provence Rosé that there is a rosé to suite each person’s palate, so try of several to see what really gives you most pleasure... Elegant and fruity or powerful and aromatic.