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Last year, we traveled virtually to three incredible regions: Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhône Valley. This year, follow along as we continue our Fall in Love with France series. Our first stop in our 2021 virtual wine tour? Provence.

Dentelles de Montmirail - mountains during the fall in Provence, France

Fall in Love with Provence

Known for its gorgeous purple fields of lavender in the summer, Provence also shows its beauty in autumn in shades of yellow, orange, and red. As the foliage changes colors in autumn, the streets, squares, and vineyards in this southern region of France take on a new glow.

Autumn is an excellent time to visit Provence. After the busy summer season, an air of tranquility falls upon the region. During the summer, temperatures in this area of France can reach the 80s. In Fall, the average temperature is typically quite comfortable ranging from 78-61 F (25.5-16.1 C) in September, 70-55 F (21.1-12.7 C) in October, and 60-47 F (15.5-8.3 C) in November. Temperate weather and beautiful autumn landscapes make this the perfect season to hike and bike in the region.

The quintessential Provençal town to visit is Aix-en-Provence. Its tree-lined streets and historic squares are painted with the colors of autumn. Fuller, warmer fall dishes find themselves on the menus of the cafés lining the Cours Mirabeau.

After visiting Aix-en-Provence, make your way to the medieval city of Avignon, which features a UNESCO-listed Palais des Papes (Popes’ Palace). Set on the Rhône River, Avignon is known as the “gateway of Provence”, making it a convenient place to stay while exploring more of the region while also being a fantastic destination in its own right.

Festivals & Events

Fall is synonymous with harvest season in France. Throughout September and into October, one can enjoy harvest and wine festivals throughout the region.

If you’re a fan of pumpkin everything, you won’t want to miss the Fête de la Courge in the village of Rians each October. The pumpkin harvest brings squash soup, dessert, jams, and baked goods to this beautiful French town.

October also brings the Chestnut festival to the village of Collobrières. Foodies rush to the village to taste chestnut cakes, cookies, liquor, and more.

The first day of November brings Toussaint (All Saints) to Provence and the rest of the country. During this public holiday, many families visit cemeteries and leave potted chrysanthemums.

In addition to these planned events and festivals, Provence is also known for its incredible markets, which take on more of a fall flair during this time of year.

Our Favorite Provençal Wines

After exploring the golden hued streets of Provence in autumn (whether virtually or in real life), unwind with a glass of one of our favorite Provençal wines.

Fall in Love with Provence: Château Real Martin red

Chateau Real Martin 2015 – Côtes de Provence Red

The Château Real Martin red comes from an organic wine estate run by Jean-Marie Paul and his family. Jean-Marie Paul formerly worked in tourism, hotels, restaurants and catering, but his dream was to one day own a wine domain. He looked around France for an entire year. Then, in 2001, Jean-Marie Paul bought his beautiful property in Provence where he now lives with his family.

This 60% Syrah, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon blend tastes of black cherries with a hint of pepper and licorice. It is ideal for pairing with hearty fall meals featuring barbecued lamb chops, beef, or pork ribs and sun-ripened tomatoes.

Usually $37 per bottle, you can order the Château Real Martin 2015 red at a special price: 3 bottles at $30.35/bottle, 6 bottles at $29.60/bottle, or 12 bottles at $28.80/bottle. As always, you can also combine this offer with other wines from our wine cellar to take advantage of our free shipping for any orders of 12+ bottles. We have limited stock left of this delicious Provençal red; click here to order now.

Château de Fontcreuse 2018 – Côtes de Provence

If you prefer white wine, you’ll love the vivacious Château de Fontcreuse 2018 with a blend of 50% Rolle and 50% Ugni Blanc grapes.

The elegant château was built in 1700. In the beginning of the 18th century, the residence was endowed with running water from underground springs that fed a gallery hollowed out under the hill. This is how it got the name Fontcreuse, which literally means hollow fount. Fontcreuse was originally used for mixed farming until 1922 when Colonel Teed, a British officer who loved to vacation on the French Riviera, acquired the land and moved it into viticulture. Colonel Teed’s passion and emphasis on quality led him to forge the reputation of Fontcreuse with his white wine.

In addition to being a friend of the vines, Colonel Teed was also friends with many British authors. Virginia Woolf regularly visited the château and even wrote several books in a small house that still stands below the vines of Fontcreuse.

In 1953, the Domaine de Fontcreuse became the property of Joseph Maffei, although still under the British flag. In 1987, Maffei sold Fontcreuse to Jean François Brando. Since then, his mission has been to maintain the heritage and prestige of Fontcreuse.

This peachy and fresh white Provençal wine pairs with all kinds of fish and seafood or can be enjoyed as an aperitif with tapas.

Want to learn more about French wine? We’re here to help! Why not check out our French wine club? Every three months we send direct to your door three, six, or twelve bottles of boutique French wines which have been carefully selected by wine experts in France along with detailed information about each wine and food pairing ideas to help you really discover French wine. And as if that wasn’t enough, we also have a wine club gift option for that special wine lover in your life! For the perfect last minute gift, send one of our digital gift cards.

We are also offering free shipping on 12-bottle orders within the continental US (including our 12-bottle Club Et Voila and Et Voila Gift options). We are also offering 50% off shipping of 12-bottle orders to Hawaii. Mix and match your favorites from our wine cellar, or stock up with 12 bottles of your favorite.

Julia is happy to help with any custom orders. Please reach out to her via email at julia@sommailier.com.

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