Wild and untamed, the land of the Luberon admits the hand of man to help the vines thrive. And in return for this loving care, the wines enjoy displaying their pure and special charms.Christophe Tassan
The Luberon is one of the most southerly wine-growing areas of the Rhone Valley. Emblematic of Provence, the region is especially rich in architectural treasures: cathedrals, castles, hilltop villages and Renaissance buildings… Its charm and relaxed lifestyle have attracted many artists, including Picasso, André Lhote, Nicolas de Staël and Albert Camus…
Vines have flourished here since antiquity, taking possession of a natural environment preserved within the Regional Nature Reserve (Parc Naturel Régional). The wines benefit from the warmth of the Mediterranean climate, but also have a nice fresh finish. The fact that the vineyards lie at altitudes of between 200 and 450 metres makes for a wide temperature range throughout the day, which imparts freshness to the wines. The region also produces some delightfully elegant white wines, to which the Vermentino grape contributes its special citrus flavours. Although the region produces wines of all three colours, the rosés are predominant… Stylish and lively, they have a fine bouquet...
The appellation’s terms of reference require that Luberon wines be made from blends of several grape varieties. The reds and rosés are composed of Syrah and Grenache noir, supplemented by Mourvèdre and Cinsault.
Luberon reds are well-rounded, easy-drinking and full of fruit, with flavours of blackcurrant, blackberry and raspberry. Some vintages have peppery notes, but without any loss of the freshness that distinguishes the appellation.
The delightfully fresh rosés come in an attractive range of colours, from the palest to the most shocking pink. On the palate, they exhibit typical red-berry-fruit flavours (strawberry, gooseberry) and in some cases more exotic notes.
The white wines are made from Grenache blanc, Clairette blanche, Vermentino, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Ugni blanc and Viognier. Blends of these grapes impart both vivacity and elegance to the vines concerned. They exhibit a fine palette of flavours, ranging from grapefruit to peach in the case of the fruitier wines, from honey to toast for the more complex vintages.
The Luberon has a distinguished history, dating back 5,000 years to the Lagoza civilisation. Stelae with human attributes bear witness to the presence of these early farmers in the region. Wine-growing was first practised in the Luberon in classical times, when the vineyards were planted. Although Greek colonists brought wine with them, and no doubt the first vine stocks, viticulture was really developed by the Romans, especially in the Aigues country.
A bas-relief depicting barrels, the first sculpture to feature containers of this kind, has been discovered at Cabrières d’Aigues. Vessels for holding wine (amphorae, demijohns) have also been found in the region, similar to those represented on the Cabrières stele. The “Apt Treasure” (dating from the 2nd and 3rd centuries), kept at the Calvet d’Avignon museum, is the finest known set of bronze drinking vessels, after those found at Pompeii.
The wine-growing estates of the Luberon flourished in the Middle Ages, especially at the time of the Avignon papacy. After times of greater or lesser splendour during the Renaissance and in more modern times, viticulture was further developed towards the end of the 19th century, and again in the inter-war years.
Beginning in the 1970s, a major modernisation programme was carried out by the Luberon wine-growers and, as a result of these efforts, they were granted Luberon AOC status in 1988.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1988Birth of AOC Luberon
The vineyards extend over 36 communes in the Luberon regional nature reserve, in the département of Vaucluse. Delimited by the Calavon to the north and the Durance to the south, they lie on both escarpments of the Luberon massif, with the exception of the Combe de Lourmarin, which separates the Grand from the Petit Luberon.
The Luberon regional nature reserve was admitted to UNESCO’s global network of Biosphere Reserves in 1997. In recognition of the exemplary balance it has achieved between economic development and the conservation of its natural heritage and wildlife, the park has also been designated by UNESCO as a living model of sustainable development.
Mediterranean, affected by the wide temperature ranges typical of such altitudes. With roughly 2,600 hours of sunshine each year, the Luberon is one of France’s sunniest regions, which favours the ripening of white grape varieties. The sharp drop in temperature at night allows the vines to recover their fluid balance and tempers the character of the red grape varieties.
Very mixed; located at middle altitude (between 200 and 450 metres), they include sands from the Miocene Period in the Aigues country, limestone scree at the foot of the mountain, and typical red clay in the Apt area.
surface area3 362 hectares
Total production156 001 hl
- 35% Red
- 19% White
- 46% rosé
Average yield achieved46 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016