Pierrevert might not be the best-known wine region in France, at least across the sea, but it's gaining recognition and its popularity increases every vintage. It’s all thanks to the area’s prestigious terroir.
Pierrevert is nestled in the Alps foothills, between the sunny Provencal coast and the arid Rhone Valley. The wine here shows traits similar to both major regions. The influence of the Mistral winds clashes with the warm Mediterranean influence, all enhanced by reputable heights.
The Alpine region dominates a wide variety of styles. Bold, rustic reds, refreshing whites and elegant rosé. Producers here can do it all. Thanks to elevations as high as 1,000 metres over sea level, the grapes preserve exceptional acidity levels, making the wine distinctive and widely coveted.
Pierrevert might be part of the larger Provence wine region, but it's its own AOC since 1998. The area has made a name for itself for wine that is not only uniquely Provencal, but it's also infused with the Rhône Valley's personality. Here's all you need to know about Pierrevert and why you want to try it’s wines; especially when sourced from a respected small-batch estate.
The vineyards at Pierrevert are one hour north of the Mediterranean coast, so the warm breezes, typical of the region, have minor influences on the vines' growth. Here, it's the altitude that allows the grapes to keep prestigious acidity levels while ripening thanks to ideal sun exposure. The weather is Mediterranean but remarkably similar to the one blessing the Rhône Valley's vineyards just a few kilometres north.
Eleven communes in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department can make Pierrevert wine: Corbières, Gréoux-les-Bains, Manosque, Montfuron, Pierrevert, Quinson, Saint-Laurent-du-Verdon, Saint-Martin-de-Brômes, Sainte-Tulle, Villeneuve and Volx.
The vines are densely planted at 4,000 vines per hectare to guarantee intense, ripe fruit. The vines compete for the water and nutrients in the soil. Vignerons harvest only 9,500 kilos of fruit per hectare. And this discipline has slowly but surely put Pierrevert on the map. You can’t fake terroir, but the vigneron’s hand plays an important role, too.
It comes without saying most quality wineries are small-batch, family-owned operations, some working the same vines for generations. There's serious viticultural history here, and you can taste the deep roots in Pierrevert wine.
The best of both worlds. The elegance of Provence and the rustic sturdiness of the Rhône Valley come together in Pierrevert for a unique expression of the French Alps.
Grape Varieties and Blends
Rhône red varietals dominate the high-altitude vineyards in Pierrevert, and they're always blends led by Grenache and Syrah, with Carignan and Cinsault amongst others as supporting varietals. To be labelled as Pierrevert, Grenache and Syrah must make for 70% of any red blend. Here, the red wine reaches maturity while retaining acidity levels only obtained at 1,000 metres over sea level.
White wines are based in a varietal blend as well. Grenache Blanc and Vermentino must make 50% of any blend, but Ugni Blanc and Clairette are also used. They're all distinctly Provencal and offer subtle white fruit, lots of minerality and an attractive, thirst-quenching palate.
Rosé wine is a blend of recommended Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, with alternative grapes including Carignan, Clairette, Marsanne, Mourvèdre, Piquepoul, Roussanne, Téoulier, Ugni blanc, Vermentino and Viognier.
The unique combination of Rhône varietals and Provence's charm makes red, white and rosé wine truly special. Blending the grapes is the only way of showing the region’s vinous potential.
Buy Pierrevert Wines from Hourlier Wines
We at Hourlier Wines have been following the young wine region since it was a VDQS. The area has its own AOC since 1998, and it has thrived in the last decades. Producers like Chateau de Rousset, a family-owned boutique estate in Pierrevert amongst others, has carried the lesser-known region to the spotlight with superb wine at a great price. We are is proud to offer Chateau de Rousset's delicious wine in all styles - Here are a few of our favourites.
Pierrevert's white wine has no equal either on Provence or the Rhône. It's made with 70% Vermentino, 20% Grenache Blanc, 5% Viognier, and 5% Roussanne for an exciting combination of floral and herbal scents over a palate dominated by pure white fruit and minerality. The Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is nicely represented in this wine that pairs with light cheese and Provençal appetisers like a charm.
Not your average Provence rosé, Chateau Rousset's Classique rosé is made with 50% Grenache Noir, 35% Syrah, 15% Cinsault. It shows ripe red berries on the nose and again on the palate, escorted by vibrant acidity and distinct minerality. Deliciously elegant and medium-bodied, this rosé is the perfect partner for white meat, pork, veal and roasted poultry.
Chateau de Rousset's Rhône inspired red blend of 75% Syrah, 20% Grenache Noir, 5% Carignan, has all the fiery spirit of the Rhône Valley. Still, it shows elegance and an attractive acidity proper of Haute-Provence.
The Classique Red opens with bramble berries and garrigue with hints of earthy undertones over a rustic, very appealing palate. The balanced mouthfeel extends through the back palate for a noble wine that's better enjoyed with game, roasted red meat and grilled vegetables.
Where does Pierrevert wine originate?
Formerly known as Coteaux de Pierrevert, this unique region lies in the Provencal Alpine foothills, one hour north of Marseille. Here, high elevations promote an outstanding balance between the grapes' ripeness and acidity.
What does Pierrevert wine taste like?
White red and rosé wine are available at Pierrevert. The rosé and white varieties share elegance and minerality with Provence's wines, but the reds are rustic and hearty in the purest Rhône style.
Which food groups pair well with Pierrevert wine?
White Pierrevert pairs well with goat's cheese and Alpine food, including fondue, quiche, veal sausages and white meat. The region's rosé is compatible with Provencal salads and seafood. The intense red wine is the appropriate pairing for grilled meat, game, hard cheese and hearty stews.