French Wine Tutor

The Complete Pronunciation Guide to Provence Rosé

Created in Partnership with Les Sarrins 

Ah, Provence. A soft breeze, lavender and herbs in the air, the Southern French sun, and of course – rosé. Provence is an iconic region in France for its breathtaking views, fascinating history, and unique culinary culture. Over the last few decades, wine producers from around the region have also made its rosés the gold standard for rosés everywhere. Read (and listen!) on to learn more about this region and what makes one of its newest producers and négociants, Les Sarrins, so unique. 

  1. Provence [PRO-VANS]

The theme of this post! Provence is a beautiful region in the south of France that is famous for its joie de vivre, warm weather, incredible cuisine, and landscapes (from sea to mountain and everything in between!). 

  1. Haut Var [OH VAR]

Translated as the “Upper Var”, this is the most northerly area of Provence and is where Les Sarrins grows and sources all the grapes that it uses for Les Sarrins. The climate here is mountainous, with higher altitude and mineral limestone soils, which lends a distinct aroma and flavor profile to the rosés produced here. 

  1. Le Mistral [LEU MEE-STRAL]

The Mistral is a legendary strong wind that blows through Provence and the Rhône Valley. Its cooling influence has a significant impact on grapes and their growth throughout the region.

  1. Côtes de Provence [KOHT DEU PRO-VANS]

This is the largest appellation within the Provence region and is responsible for nearly 72% of all the wine produced there. It’s also the appellation that Les Sarrins operates within! 

  1. Coteaux d’Aix en Provence [KOH-TOH AKS AW PRO-VANS]

This appellation’s area surrounds the city of Aix-en-Provence (hence the name!) and encompasses the most western area of Provence, just north of Marseille. The famous Sainte-Victoire mountain, which was featured in one of Cézanne’s paintings, is located here as well and gives the wines a unique mountainous flair. 

  1. Coteaux Varois en Provence [KOH-TOH VARWAH AW PRO-VANS]

Located within central Provence, this appellation is the newest and the smallest of the three Provençal AOC. Its unique patchwork of calcareous soil types make for distinctive rosés. 

  1. Les Sarrins [LAY SAIR-RIN]

The official name of Bruno Paillard’s newest Provençal wine brand. This is a light and floral rosé that is perfect for summer sipping. 

  1. Grenache [GRUH-NASH]

Grenache (also known as Garnacha in Spain, where it’s originally from) is one of the world’s most popular red grape varieties, particularly popular in the south of France due to its resistance to drought and heat. It’s a key variety for the production of Provence rosé.

  1. Cinsault [SAEN-SOH]

Often called the unsung hero of Provence blends, Cinsault is a red grape native to Provence that lends softer tannins and fruit notes to rosé blends. 

  1. Syrah [SEE-RAH]

This famous red grape variety is native to the south of France and used in both red and rosé blends in Provence. It often adds notes of spice and savory to rosés. 

  1. Rolle (Vermentino) [ROHL]

Rolle (known as Vermentino in Italy) is one of Provence’s most often-used white grape varieties. It adds citrus and helps to make rosé blends feel softer and rounder, especially when used in conjunction with the three main red grapes above. 

  1. Dénominations Géographiques Complémentaires [DAY-NAWMINASEE-AW JAY-OH-GRAH-FEEK KAWMPLAY-MAWN-TAIR]

Translated as “complementary geographical designations”, this term denotes subregions from within a larger appellation that have specific conditions and/or soil types for grape growing. Côtes de Provence has five dénominations gégoraphiques complémentaires. 

  1. Les notes florales [LAY NOHT FLORAL]

Meaning “floral notes” in French, this term will often be used to describe rosés from Provence. Common notes include white flowers and roses.

  1. Les notes fruités [LAY NOHT FWEETAY]

Meaning “fruity notes” in French, this term will often be used to describe rosés from Provence. Common fruit notes include citrus, melon, peach, and even strawberry and red cherry. 

  1. Rosé léger [ROZAY LAYJAY]

This translates to “light rosé”; it’s something that could be used to describe the rosés that come to Provence due to their traditionally light color. 

  1. Santé ! [SAWNTAY]

Literally meaning “To your health!” this is used in the place of “Cheers!” in traditional French. 

The key to pronunciation, no matter the language, is practice. Keep playing and reading through the above and you’ll be a pro at Provence in no time! A glass of Les Sarrins rosé while you’re working certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Santé !

This blog post has been generously sponsored by Les Sarrins Rosé. All thoughts and opinions shared here are uniquely my own. Thank you for supporting French Wine Tutor! Check out more wines on the blog.


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