Wine tasting and discovery within the heart of the Provençal vineyards

Provence, the real treasure of southern France, is renowned for its magnificent vineyards and stunning wines. For all lovers of a decent bottle, wine tasting in the heart of the vineyards and their wine estates is an essential experience. The Lou Calen team has selected for its guests three renowned and celebrated wine producers: Domaine Aspras, Château Carpe Diem and Château La Calisse. Whether you opt for the half-day on an electric bike or the full day chauffeured by a driver and accompanied by a guide, this immersive tasting experience promises to be unforgettable.

A tasty tour by bike or chauffeured van

Venturing out on an electric bike is a charming way to get about and explore the Provençal vineyards. Let the wind caress your face as you glide through the idyllic landscape, past country lanes, and the vast expanses of verdant vineyards.
Larger groups or families, as well as those more knowledgeable about wine, may prefer the full day guided tour experience. Comfortably installed and ready to go, your driver will guide you through the enchanting local landscapes, and you won’t have to worry about driving back.

Domaine Aspras in Correns

Located along the Argens valley is the Aspras wine estate, at the highest northern point of the Côtes de Provence grouping. Organically farmed since 1995 it’s 32 hectares of vines have benefitted from a privileged geographical location. The land is surrounded by limestone hills with white earth and is thus named after “asper-aspera” in Latin, highlighting the roughness of the rocky soil. The Aspras estate is particularly distinguished by several types of soil: the white limestone soils of the Cannebière hillsides, ideal for white grape varieties; the sandy soils of the Argens plain; the bauxite red lands of Broves, suitable for structured rosé and red wines; and finally, the clay limestone soils of Tras la Garde, which produce fruity red wines and lively white and rosé wines. These land peculiarities give the Aspras wines a unique complexity, colour and richness that compliments the regional Provençal territory.

Chateau Carpe Diem in Cotignac

The Chateau Carpe Diem wine estate covers around thirty hectares just outside Cotignac. Certified in organic farming by ECOCERT, the estate has been cultivating the land since 1977, combining organic farming, natural biodynamics and local traditional know-how. In this natural paradise, white, rosé and red wines labeled AOP Côtes de Provence, AOP Coteaux Varois en Provence and IGP Var are produced. Interestingly, the organised labour in the vineyard and in the cellar – from harvest to pressing – follows the lunar calendar. Furthermore, respect for biodiversity is of the utmost importance: sheep grazing around the vines in winter, installation of hives around the vines and the sowing of plant cover and honey mixtures for the bees, grassing and green manures in the vines, maintenance and planting of hedges around the vines. The result is authentic, delicious and environmentally friendly wines.

Chateau La Calisse in Ponteves

In the village of Ponteves, the Château La Calisse estate sits at an altitude of 380m in a natural rocky recess that generates a microclimate favourable to organic farming. The vineyard has benefited from ECOCERT certification since 1996, and incredibly, this site is said to have been set up and cultivated by the Romans hundreds of years ago. Entirely reconstituted since its acquisition in 1991, the vineyard was then replanted in a north to south direction on limestone soils, and was newly maintained according to ancient methods, without weedkillers or chemical fertilisers, by using ploughs and diggers. The harvest each year is manual, with only the best bunches selected. Three cuvées labeled AOP Coteaux Varois en Provence are produced for each colour and are differentiated by their blending and vinification. In addition to its wines, the cellar of Château La Calisse offers its visitors a quality olive oil and a lavender essential oil.