Wineries to visit in the Luberon (and Châteauneuf-du-Pape)
If you head over to France and want to avoid the crowds, discover hidden gems and less crowded wineries, then head to the Luberon region which borders Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence and the town of Aix-en-Provence to the south.
Being based here is perfect to explore local wineries, co-operatives and head further up the Rhône Valley to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A few wineries I recommend visiting are:
Domaine de la Verrière
Domaine de la Verrière is a small and welcoming winery in Goult producing 8,500 bottles a year from their 28 hectares. The export about 20% of their production which heads to Belgium, USA and Germany. The website does not reflect truly the look and feel of the place. A small cellar door greets you with a small tasting room and merchandise to buy. Katrine took us through some of the selection.
The wines start at around €6/7 which is about $9.38 AUD; unbelievable really when you compare the quality of the wine at the price point in France vs Australia, fantastic value! The rosé is made of Cinsault, Grenache and Mourvèdre. The white is made of Vermentino, Clairette and Roussane. Le Haut de la Jacotte is aged in wood for 12 months. It is 90% Syrah and 10% Grenache. Keep for 6-8 years.
Clos du Tilleul
The husband and wife team (Léa and Mathieu Malbec) at Clos du Tilleul based in Bonnieux, sell their wines at markets and I was fortunate to meet and taste the wines on a Sunday market at Coustellet. They are also at Goult on Thursday mornings and Friday mornings at Bonnieux market. Or you can find them at their cellar door if you book in advance. The business is a very recent venture; set up in 2017.
Léa and Mathieu’s parents and grandparents are wine growers. They have just 3 hectares of vines which should all be under the label BIO in 2020. They are focused on making quality wine producing 40 hectolitres per hectare. They produce a red, white and rosé (Syrah and Vermentino – AOP Luberon rosé).The AOP Luberon blanc is made with Rousanne and Vermentino and is aged in oak for 6 months. The red will be out at the end of 2018.
I loved their rosé which at just over €10 a bottle, is a touch expensive for a ‘typical’ rosé. But then this is different. It is a blend of Syrah and white grape variety Vermentino. I felt the wine danced on my palate and had wonderful floral notes. Too bad I couldn’t bring home a few bottles, I didn’t have the weight allowance!
Cave du Luberon
Cave du Luberon is located in the town of Coustellet. It is a cooperative and inside is laid out as part warehouse with boxes of wines (usually in 6 packs) stacked on the floor and part tasting. The tasting area is to the back of the warehouse with friendly staff and other customers where you can try..before you buy.
Plus, what I loved was a children’s corner ….such a good idea! All wineries should have one! There was plenty to keep my toddler amused while I quickly tasted through a selection of some of the rosés starting from just over €4.
Domaine de la Bastidonne
Domaine de la Bastidonne is a family owned winery grow 18 different grapes from their 30 hectares located just outside the village of Cabrières d’Avignon. It has been family owned since 1850 by the Marreau family. Today it is Gerard who makes the wines after having studied oenology at the University of Dijon and spending 10 years making Champagne.
The white grapes grown are: Viognier, Grenache blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne, Vermentino, Chardonnay, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains and Petit Manseng.
Black grape varieties include Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, Carignan, Mourvèdre, Marselan, Caladoc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault.
Famille Perrin includes Château de Beaucastel, Miraval in Provence, Domaine du Clos des Tourelles, Domaine & Maison Les Alexandrins and La Vielle Ferme .The cellar door is located in the heart of the town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. I have been familiar with their brands a number of years, in particular the La Vielle Ferme range which I used to sell when I worked at Majestic over 15 years ago. On tasting there was a selection of the range open including the Miraval rosé which I enjoy.
La Vielle Ferme in particular, especially is a lovely wine – the red, white and rosé, the rosé especially on a warm summer evening! Click here to read more about Côtes du Rhône wines.