Provence; stunning scenery, warm weather and great wines. One of the most popular holiday and cycling destinations in France and the largest region that our St.Malo to Nice route passes through. From the dramatic view of Mont Ventoux to the rolling vista of the Alpes Maritime there is plenty to challenge your legs as you roll through countryside filled with the scent of pine trees and lavender.
Just 20km after leaving the famous wine village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape the journey from St Malo to Nice passes through the extensive vineyards of Ventoux AOC. Vineyards cascade down the lower southern slopes of Mt Ventoux; the Giant of Provence; a mountain of imposing stature at an impressive 1,912m dominating the skyline for miles in any direction and protecting the vines from the ferocity of the mistral winds. The mountain top has a strange lunar like appearance with a distinctive observatory antenna, the upper slopes are covered in pines whilst the lower slopes are dressed with row upon row of vines. The Ventoux area was also registered as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1990 as a home for rare endemic plant species as well as being home to many kinds of deer and birds of prey.
The reds of Ventoux are smooth, rich wines with red berry fruits, frequently spices and notes of liquorce and leather with ageing.
Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre grape varieties leas the way though Cinsault and Carignan are also found. The same grapes also produce perfect pale pink roses.
Provence to many means rose, perfect for the summer climate, refreshing and quaffable with notes of raspberry, cherry and blossom scents.
There are many wineries in the area around Monteux and Mazan but the easiest to access and right on the route is Terra Ventoux (on the left as you ride into the small town of Villes-sur-Auzon). Terra Ventoux produces a range of reds, whites and roses and accessible prices and often with a cycling connection. Their latest offering is the red in honour of Eric Caritoux, a former professional cyclist, who had ridden Le Tour de France an impressive 11 times and lives just outside the town. Terra Ventoux also offers the “Tour of 5 Terroirs” to discover their vineyards whilst giving the legs a rest on-board an electric bike.