An area famous for its white wines, cassis obtained its aoc (designation of origin, appellation d’origine contrôlée) status on 15 may 1936. It was the first in france to have received this distinction. It was also one of the first site of the proven presence of vines in provence. The greeks, at the same time as they were founding marseille, planted the first vines in cassis bay over 2,600 years ago. The first written traces of vineyards in cassis go back to the middle ages. In the 16th century the vineyards began to specialise in the production of white, muscat-style wines. At the end of the 19th century, after the devastation of vineyards by the phylloxera louse, the vineyards of cassis turned to the production of dry white wines.
The vineyards, all facing the mediterranean sea, are sheltered on the sides by the calanques de cassis, massive limestone cliffs to the west, and the cap canaille headland to the east. Suspended on a number small terraces, they set their roots deep into the hard, cool limestone of the two mountainous ridges. These soils, in combination with the maritime influences, why the wines of cassis are so original. Since 2012, the entirety of the cassis aoc is encompassed within the perimeter of the calanques national park. It is the only vineyard area on france to be wholly within the borders of national park land.
The white wines draw their inimitable freshness and minerality from the soil which they have made famous. They represent 70% of total production in the aoc. In their your they are enjoyed for their fruit and freshness, and with a few years’ age they become more rounded and weighty with honeyed notes.
The rosés, elegant and fresh, have a light, pale appearance and a red fruit nose. The reds are restrained and envelop themselves in dark berry fruit and spice.