The Best Vignobles Near Saint Tropez: Fly to Taste Your Wines
The French Riviera is renowned for its rolling hills and outstanding vineyards. Rosé wines are a home-grown specialty, but the splendid whites and reds deserve some attention too. A trip to the Var is incomplete without sampling the local vignobles, particularly if you are heading to St Tropez and Grimaud, which have a history of cultivating the finest terroirs for wine production. Reaching the vineyards couldn’t be easier with a Nice to St Tropez helicopter trip, allowing you to travel effortlessly between major Riviera destinations in 10-15 minutes. Just remember to pick up some of the famous regional wines before you leave.
Domaine Bertaud Belieu
The Domaine Bertaud Belieu Vineyard in Gassin, St Tropez has gained notoriety as the venue for Leonardo DiCaprio’s annual gala. The gala is organised by his eponymous environmental foundation and has become famous for its opulence and ultra-high-profile guest list which includes A-listers like Kate Winslet and Adrien Brody. However, the prestigious wine estate has always been popular for its high-quality wines that are produced on the 65-hectare estate. It has a long and characterful history dating back to 1340 when the vineyard covered more than 600 hectares.
Château de Minuty
The sun-soaked vineyards surrounding Gassin are some of the best on the Riviera and offer a relaxing diversion into the Provençal countryside. High on the agenda for many who frequent this area of the South of France is the famous Château de Minuty, which is one of the most welcoming vignobles in St Tropez. The building and its small chapel were built in Napoleon III’s era. The vines are harvested without weed killers or pesticides in an area bordered by protected woodland.
This extraordinary terroir can be tasted in its exquisite wines, which include its signature “Or” range of atypical white wines that blend Viognier with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The estate has been run by the Matton-Farnet family for almost three centuries, first at the Domaine de Chateauneuf in Vidauban, and then at the Chateau Minuty since 1936. Not only do the most prestigious hotels on the Côte d’Azur still stock the brand, but it is appearing increasingly on wine lists at the finest restaurants around the world.
Château Saint Maur, Cru Classé
At the Chateau Saint Maur, the Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Rolle grapes are cultivated at an altitude of 449m, using environmentally friendly methods. The whites and the rosés are distinguished by the elegant, velvety tones of their tannins, which are perfect for fine dining and special occasions. You can sample them for yourself, as tours and tasting courses are available. Located in a beautiful Moorish-style building at Cogolin, 10km from Saint-Tropez, the 54-hectare estate stretches across the plain towards Grimaud Castle, which overlooks the hill in the distance.
The small but completely organic Château Barbeyrolles was acquired by Régine Sumeire in 1977. However, the Sumeire family has been in the wine business for three generations across several sites in Provence. This domain is located at the foot of Gassin village in the Maures hills area and all 12 hectares contain shaley soils that date back to the Paleozoïc Era. The Vintage 2011 is made from three types of hand-picked grapes, Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, and benefited from a rainy winter and a hot, dry spring to create a flavorful and elegant wine. The tasting room is open in summer every day except Sunday and open on weekdays only for the rest of the year.
Château des Marres
The Château des Marres is ideally located on the road to the iconic Pampelonne Beach in Ramatuelle. Its close proximity to the sea and exceptional climate conditions create a thermo and hygrometric buffer on the sandy clay-schist soils of the Maures hills. Henri Benet founded the estate in 1907, and its famous rosé is named after that year. Enjoy the views of 27 hectares of vines against a Mediterranean blue backdrop. The Gartich family have been running the vineyard since the 1970s and can give you a tour if you give them 24 hours’ notice.
Image credits: photos provided with thanks to the individual vineyards
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