History of Château Mentone 's vineyards

APPELLATION CÔTES DE PROVENCE

In Saint-Antonin-du-Var, in the Dracénie region, Château Mentone is one of the oldest vineyards of  the Côtes de Provence appellation, one of the three AOPs ("protected designations of origin") in the Var region. The estate covers 170 hectares, including the communes of Saint-Antonin-du-Var and Entrecasteaux, with 32 hectares devoted to vineyards. The range of grape varieties (7 of the 11 in the appellation) enables us to produce three colours of Côtes de Provence: rosé, white and red.

The entire Château Mentone vineyard is cultivated and vinified in accordance with the organic standards required for the AB (Organic) certification issued by ECOCERT.

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HISTORY OF WINEGROWING IN THE VAR

The origins of Château Mentone's vineyards created by the Perrot de Gasquet family date back to the 1840s.

In late 2003  Marie-Pierre Caille took over the reins of Château Mentone, whose vineyards are among the oldest in the Côtes de Provence appellation. She immediately set out restoring the vines, and modernising winemaking production to implement standards of excellence, while maintaining as many of the historic plots as possible. Today, the average age of Mentone’s vines is 30 years old: some Clairette vines are over 50 years old while some Carignan vines are over 80 years old.

Careful to restore the quality of the soil and biodiversity after years of conventional wine growing (one of the heaviest users of pesticides in France), between 2008 and 2012 Marie-Pierre Caille converted the estate to biodynamic production.

Today, production is limited to average yields of 35hl/ha, which enables the grapes to mature fully to create the perfect expression of this healthy natural historic terroir.

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ORGANIC WINES IN THE VAR IN PROVENCE

In 2008, the Château Mentone estate began conversion to organic and biodynamic practices, banning practically all chemical inputs. The same principles were adopted for vinification: 
fermentation is carried out with natural yeasts present in the grapes, without the addition of yeast; winemaking additives are also banned, and sulphur dioxide (SO2) doses are reduced to a minimum.

Due to total commitment at every step of the process, on 22 May 2012 the estate obtained AB certification.

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Terroir and grape varieties

Château Mentone’s 30 hectares of vineyards enjoy exceptional soil and climate that encourage grapes to mature late, bringing finesse and elegance to whites and rosés, and power and balance to reds.

The estate produces  7 grape varieties  (of the 11 authorised by the Côtes de Provence appellation): Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle and Clairette. The soil has a permeable pebble and clay-limestone base while  the climate is continental.

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