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New DGC region for Côtes de Provence

Published:  26 September, 2019

The Côtes de Provence AOC has announced its fifth sub-region to achieve DGC national terroir designation status.

Côtes de Provence Notre-Dame des Anges was awarded the status on 10 August following a recommendation by the national committee of the INAO.

The region comprises ten communities: Les Arcs/Argens, Carnoules, Taradeau, Vidauban, Le Cannet-des-Maures, La Garde-Freinet, Le Luc, Les Mayons, Gonfaron and Pignans.

It takes its name from the highest peak in the Massif des Maures mountain range between Hyères and Fréjus, which is visible from every community.

Notre-Dame des Anges has some 3,900 ha of land under vine. However, only 273 ha from 16 wineries have been identified by the INAO for production of Côtes de Provence Notre-Dame des Anges AOC wines with the 2019 harvest.

The DGC status brings with it more restrictive production methods specified by the INAO, which include plot-based selection, varietal choice, lowering yields and the vinification process itself.

The principal varietals in the region are Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. But there are also plantings of Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Clairette, Sémillon, Ugni

Blanc and Vermentino.

Soil types in the DGC include sandstone, pelites, sand, old alluvial terraces, limestone and schist.

Typical yields are 50 hl/ha. The region’s rosé wines are released on 15 December of the harvest year. Reds are available from 1 September of the following year.

Jean-Pierre Daziano, president of the Notre-Dame des Anges section of the Syndicat des Vins Côtes de Provence, said: “After 15 years of comparative tastings, plot identification and the development of control batches, we have been able to bring the Notre-Dame des Anges terroir designation project to fruition, because the wine-makers all shared a common goal, based on a belief in the typicity of their wines.

“This area boasts special natural features, but it is also a terroir in the oenological sense of the term, because the way the producers work the land is reflected in the characteristics of the wines.”

Eric Pastorino, president of the Syndicat des Vins Côtes de Provence, said: “For many years now, the Syndicat des Vins Côtes de Provence has been engaged in the promotion of its terroirs through the identification of specific geographic sectors, an approach which has resulted in the recognition of five terroir designations in conjunction with local wine-makers.

This strategy is part of a process to upgrade the appellation, with the aim of producing wines which are recognized for their quality and for the expression of their terroir.”

Previous regions within Côtes de Provence to receive DGC status are Sainte-Victoire and Fréjus, both in 2005, La Londe in 2008, and Pierrefeu in 2013.