By Barbara Mazz, Contributing Writer
Near the borders of Spain, Italy, and along the Mediterranean Sea is the beautiful South of France. Lovingly referred to by the locals as le Midi, The South of France is one of the top tourist destinations for wine lovers—and for a good reason.
Both red and white wine lovers travel to the South of France to wet their whistles. Because of the enjoyable warm climate, the South of France grows plump, beautiful grapes that turn into bold, delectable wines. And, from these grapes dry white blends and bold reds become the flavor profiles of choice.
If you are planning a trip to the South of France soon, then lucky you! You are going to have the time of your life sauntering from region to region, enjoying some of the best tasting wines on the planet. So, get your glass ready and gear up to go with this list we have created the best places to visit in Southern France for wine lovers.
1. St Tropez
Yes, St. Tropez is really as breathtaking as it sounds. A part of the French Riviera, this Mediterranean peninsula is home to some of the best beaches and nightlife in the South of France. If you are planning on making St. Tropez part of your Southern France wine tour vacation, you should prepare yourself to see plenty of socialites and celebrities sunning themselves on local beaches or setting sail off the coast in their yachts. Especially if you visit Pampelonne Beach or Places de Lices.
As far as wine is concerned, of course, there is plenty to go around in St. Tropez. The most popular and delicious blend you will want to get your hands on is Cotes de Provence. A sweet, subtle, drinkable Rose, this wine shouts sunny days on the beach lounging under an umbrella. This wine is so delicious and delicate you are going to want to take a few bottles home with you to give to friends and family…or keep for yourself!
Right on the Rhone River in Southeastern France is the city of Avignon. With a name that sounds like it came from a storybook, Avignon is certainly a city you wouldn’t want to miss visiting on your trip to Southern France. Built during the Medieval period, Avignon boasts beautiful stone castles, extravagant bridges, and towering cathedrals. During the 1300s, Avignon was the papal seat of the Catholic Church. While you are in town you are going to want to visit the Avignon Cathedral to soak up some of that rich history.
But, let’s be honest. When you go to Avignon you are really going for the wine, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the bottle of choice. A bold, spicy, red wine Châteauneuf-du-Pape is most comparable to the common Syrah, but with much, much more flavor. Deep cherry, bold spice, olive, raspberry, and garrigue all come through making this the perfect red to sit out and enjoy under the stars on a warm summer evening. And, luckily while you are visiting Avignon you will be able to find a glass (or bottle) or this famous wine at nearly every bistro, corner market, or vineyard.
With miles upon miles of Mediterranean coastline and the Pyrenees Mountains and Spain as borders, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the best known, most visited places in Southern France. The hills and valleys of this beautiful region have a lot to brag about—like the Ancient Roman aqueducts at the Pont du Gard, the peaceful Canal du Midi, and the flamingos in Camargue, just to name a few.
On a wine tour of Southern France, Languedoc-Roussillon is an obvious choice to visit, because it is home to some of the biggest wineries in the world, and there are many famous wines that hail from this region. Both red and white blends reign supreme here with bold reds, zesty whites, and even sparkling varieties. But, if you want to try the best of the best put the red Mourvedre and white Bourboulenc on your list.
As a large military port on the Mediterranean in the South of France, there is plenty to see and do in the city of Toulon. Some of the most notable destinations are Musee National de la Marine, the limestone giant Mont Faron, and of course the miles of sandy beaches and caverns. Toulon is big enough that if you are traveling you could spend many days taking in the breathtaking scenery and tourist spots.
However, if you are traveling to Toulon for wine, you will not be disappointed. Toulon is nearest to the Bandol wine region, one of the most widely recognized wine regions in France. The uniqueness of the limestone-rich soil and the warm, coastal climate create some of the best growing conditions for the unique wines of this region. Try everything from reds to whites, and roses to pick the flavor profile that best suits you. No matter what bottle on in the Bandol region, you are certainly in for a treat.
Everyone knows Nice. Picturesque in every sense of the word, this coastal city in the French Riviera is known for its luxury and astonishing beach landscapes. As you take a little walk along the beach or through the streets of town, just breathing in the salty, warm air will be enough to put your mind at ease and send you into full vacation mode. But, if you are looking for a few attractions, Nice has those too. Visit Castle Hill to get an eagle eye view of the city or take high-end boutiques in the shopping district.
Near the Bellet wine region, Nice is a nice place to go to kick back and relax with the perfect glass of red, rose, or white from the nearby vineyards.
Now that you know the best places to visit in Southern France for wine lovers it’s time to pack your bags, and take off on a trip you’ll never forget. Or, maybe you will, depending on how much wine you choose to enjoy… Here are some more wine travel ideas when visiting France. Cheers!
About the Guest Writer
Barbara Mazz is the founder of CrabInTheAir.com, a travel blog where she shares her passion for exploring the world. She loves writing about all the hotels visited, the wonderful cities discovered and the unique people met along the way. You can follow her adventures on Facebook and on Instagram.