In the Bandol area wines that have gained Appellation d’ Origine classification Controlee are produced. This classification system was introduced in year 1935, and Bandol was among the first to be classified in year 1941. There are a number of requirements that must be met, how the grapes have to be grown, the composition of grape varieties etc. The red wine in Bandol has the Mourvedre grape as the main basis – Mourvedre must consist of at least 50 % to meet the classification requirements. The Bandol wine is alone in having this grape as the main ingredient. It is the sunny climate in the slopes down to the Mediterranean that makes this grape develop so good right here. Bandol is considered one of the best wine districts in Provence.
What is typical of Bandol wines
It’s the red wine that is most widely known – for its taste qualities and its storage capacity. The wine must lie in oak barrels for at least 18 months before it is bottled. Then it should be allowed to develop for at least 5 years, preferably more. The wine has a high content of tannins which are softened through storage. When the wine is mature, it emerges as rich, round and velvety.
Much Rosé wine is produced and consumed in the area. Bandol Rosé is pale pink in colour and has a fresh flavour. Excellent drinks during summer. Unlike other rosé wines Bandol rosé wines can often be stored – the content of Mourvedre also gives the wine good storage ability.
Bandol white wines are also produced, although in much smaller scale and less recognized than red wine. Yet the white wines have their character and they are definitely worth tasting.
How Bandol wine first got its reputation
When the French empire was at its greatest in the 1800s a lot of wine was transported to the French settlers in the colonies. The transport across the sea to the distant colonies was long and difficult. It was not unusual that the wine had turned to vinegar by the arrival. But the wine in barrels marked with a large B withstood the transport good. Many thought the wine was better after rolling over the ocean. This is why the demand for the Bandol wine was large.
There are a number of vineyards that produce Bandolwine and theese are located outside the city Bandol. Because of the strict AOC requirements the quality on all farms is good. If you would like to visit one of them, you may want to take a trip to Maison des vins – Bandol located at the harbor of Bandol. Here they have maps and information about all the vineyards in the area. If you want a tour to one of the farms, this should be booked in advance, but in most of them you can just stop by if you only want to taste and shop. We recommend a visit to the Château de Pibernon, Tour du Bon and Domaine la Suffrene.
See also the page about the city Bandol.