Considered one of the sunniest regions in France, this part of Luberon is home to some fabulous rosé, however there are juicy sparkling wines, medium to full bodied reds and aromatic white wines produced here too.
At Coquillade, you can literally taste the wine from the vines that you see through your window. The resort’s vineyard was part of an abbey close to the hotel where monks made wine from the 11th century. The southern Rhône trio of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre are grown here alongside Cinsault and Carignan, Vermentino and Grenache Blanc.
Home to Aureto winery and its 30 hectares of vines, aureto is translated as ‘light breeze’, (I am not sure if this is the French attempt at irony considering the famous Mistral wind is a regular visitor to this region).
It’s always wonderful to meet a woman winemaker and Aurelié Julien has been the shaker and stirrer of wines at Aureto since 2009. Hailing from the nearby town of Apt, Aurelié is a scholar of all things wine-related, and this extensive knowledge and experience shines through in her philosophy and wines.
Sustainability is a key focus; the vineyard uses organic and biodynamic processes to produce a number of their wines. In late 2021, Aureto became one of the first wineries in southern France to go climate neutral. Think lighter bottles, renewable energy and organic winegrowing methods, a return to traditional viticultural practices where everything is done with a delicate touch by hand. It was a pleasure to see the innovative variety of maturation vessels at the winery, from ceramic amphorae and wooden barrels to stainless steel tanks and concrete eggs.
At the time of our visit, Aureto’s 13 different wines were not available in the UK, (even more reason to visit the resort and its vineyard). A pick of our favourites included the light salmon pink Coquillade Rosé cuvée 2021 – typical of the region and only available at the resort, with light strawberries on the nose balancing the high acidity and gentle residual sugar notes.
Available at Aureto’s stunning cellar door, the Solale 2021 rosé is a delicious Syrah-focussed blend, matured in ceramic amphora. The nose is ripe strawberries and cherries with hints of lychee and herbs offering a rather exotic expression of a rich rosé.
The Elyo Blanc 2021 is a fresh, complex white wine showcasing a unique blend of Viognier with smaller fractions of Clairette, Marsanne and Roussanne. Again matured in amphora pots and also in barrels, the nose is creamy honeydew melon and apricot opening up to a palate of pear, lemongrass, herb and flinty notes.
The Aureto Tramontane 2019 at 15.5% abv is a big busty red wine. Made from the local variety Caladoc (a crossing of Grenache and Malbec) with a splash of Syrah, partly aged in oak barrels, the pronounced nose is all ripe red fruit, vanilla and toast, leading to a palate of cherries, raspberries and plums tinged with liquorice and soft tannins.
With the vineyard, winery and cellar door within easy reach of the resort, wine tasting experiences abound here. In addition to all that Aureto can offer, guests can join visits to other wineries in the Luberon Valley, some dating back to the 17th century. Guests can also book a day trip to nearby Châteauneuf-du-Pape and enjoy a day of wine tasting and dining.