We all know the famous regions, but on this Bastille Day (July 14) let’s celebrate some lesser known regions in France.
Camargue: Near Arles, the terroir here is sandy which helped them avoid the pest phylloxera which scourged most other regions. Pre-phylloxera Grenache vines. Try the salmon-tinted, peachy Pink Flamingo Gris Rosé. $14
Ventoux: East of the Rhône Valley, it gets some mild mistral winds and mountain-induced cooling influences. Try Chêne Bleu Aliot (65% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, and a touch of Marsanne and Viognier) with notes of dense, waxy yellow apple and great tangy acid. $44
Mercurey: Part of Burgundy, which is decidedly well-known, but this appellation gives a flinty characteristic to its elegant Chardonnnays. Try Cellier aux Moines Les Margotons, a winery started by monks in the 12th century who made wine for the liturgy and entertaining guests. My kind of monks.
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