Recently retired, Bob and his wife Arlene from New Jersey decided to celebrate with a trip to Europe. They joined us for a null in the Palette AOC which is a tiny wine region just outside of Aix en Provence famous for making wonderful rosé wines. Palette is the smallest wine region in Provence with a total of 42 hectares (the equivalent of 100 acres), and the third smallest wine region in all of France (Bellet is the tiniest wine region in France located in the hills above Nice).
There are only 3 wineries in Palette! We took them to Henri Bonnaud which has 25 acres in total, 14 of which are AOC Palette. Since the rest of Henri Bonnaud’s acreage lies outside of the boundary lines of Palette they have to put “Côtes de Provence” or “Vins de Pays” on the labels for their other wines. The regulations in France are very strict, dictating rules for irrigation, pruning, harvest dates, and blending percentages, just to name a few. While quality control in France can be tedious, we continue to enjoy French wines which are guaranteed to be good precisely because of the many rules!
Henri Bonnaud is a third generation winery. The first Henri Bonnaud vintage was in 2004, but long before that Stéphan and his grandfather were growing grapes and selling them to the local co-ops.
We recommend a visit to this winery not only for its wines (white, rosé, and red), but for the stunning views of vineyards along the base of famous Mount Sainte Victoire from their terrace.