France: Provence

Inland Provence

Côtes de Provence and Coteaux Varois Wines from the Hillsides
By Elizabeth Gabay MW

This Guide was last updated on 12 February 2010
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Clos Saint Joseph

Address: Le Savel, 06710 Villars sur Var
Tel: 04 93 05 73 29 
Geo-coordinates:  Latitude: 43:56:5N (43.93467)    Longitude: 7:5:20E (7.08899) 

The only Côtes de Provence vineyard in the Alpes Maritimes, this vineyard sells 90% of its production to restaurants around Nice and a mere 10% to those who beat a track to the cellar door. Situated in the Var valley a long way from the main vineyard trail, this domaine does require some exploratory spirit: follow the signs for the local HLM (social housing estate) and gendarmerie (police station) and you will soon see that this vineyard is a well hidden secret. However, Mr Sassi, and now his son, have been making excellent wines for a number of years, taking advantage of the considerably cooler climate of the area to produce clean fresh wines, even in 2003. The 2007 vintage saw the first rosé production due to demand from restaurateurs – an elegant wine, quite different from the more herby offerings of central Provence. Both his red and white wines age well and he also makes a late harvest sweet wine and a Madeira style wine.

Useful information: Essential to telephone in advance. Tasting in the cellar, with no toilet facilities.


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