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.