General Information: Provence is a geographical region and historical province of southeastern France, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River on the west to the Italian border on the east, and is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the south.
Climate:Most of Provence has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by hot, dry summers, mild winters, little snow, and abundant sunshine. Within Provence there are micro-climates and local variations, ranging from the Alpine climate inland from Nice to the continental climate in the northern Vaucluse. The winds of Provence are an important feature of the climate, particularly the mistral, a cold, dry wind which, especially in the winter, blows down the Rhône Valley to the Bouches-du-Rhône and the Var Departments, and often reaches over one hundred kilometres an hour.
Soil:The geography is diverse with numerous mountain ranges that texture the landscape providing gentle slopes (vines love hills!) and sheltered valleys. The soils are diverse as well. Limestone rules in the western part of Provence where the land was once covered by a warm, shallow ancient sea. Travel east and the soil is mostly chrystalline schist (granite) and, in one small area, volcanic.
Grapes:White grapes of Provence include: Rolle (aka Vermentino)
Ugni Blanc (aka Trebbiano), Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Also familiar are the Bordeaux varieties of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, which are sanctioned in some regions. Regional grapes such as Pascal, Terret Blanc, Spagnol (aka Mayorquin) and Pignerol are still used but are quickly vanishing. Reds: Tibouren, Braquet, Calitour, Folle Noir and Barbaroux