One of our favourite vineyards – classy wines, passionate wine maker, glorious position and a welcoming and informative visitor experience! We first visited many many years ago just as tourists, but have been back many times. Set in the foothills of the Alpilles mountains in a glorious Provencal landscape with grape and olive vines, the place would attract visitors without the lure of the wine. But Christian Nief, despite being a Burgundian, really does make some wonderfully classy wines – I have never had a bottle from him which was not superb – and I suspect I can say that of a very few other winemakers that I know. The wines are a mix of Rhône and Provence styles – in this case complicated by the fact that the winemaker, Christian Nief, originally hails from Burgundy! It is the sheer quality of each of the wines which we find so tremendous – all well-made, with lots of concentration of flavour Mas Sainte Berthe bottles The vineyard itself is well worth a visit – apart from the opportunity to taste their wonderful wines and to purchase olives and olive oil from the estate, the setting is sublime. Just a few minutes from Les Baux and only about 15 minutes from St Remy de Provence, Mas Sainte Berthe also offers a vineyard trail – well-marked and with information boards at points describing the varietals and vineyard work.The domaine (mas) uses environmentally and ecologically friendly techniques in the vineyard to ensure both high quality and sustainability. See map location for Mas Sainte Berthe at Les Baux de Provence The Mas (Provencal for farmstead) produces red,white and rosé wines:-
Mas Sainte Berthe – Baux de Provence AC Cuvée Tradition red – this red is both full-bodied and smooth, benefitting from the richness of the Grenache, the body and spicy smoothness of Syrah & the fruitiness of Cabernet Sauvignon. It blends well together to produce a serious yet very drinkable wine
“….boasting a purple robe and a nose heightened with the fragrances of the surrounding scrubland, combines Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Round and balanced in the mouth. For drinking after 18 months of ageing with white or grilled meat.”
Mas Sainte Berthe – Baux de Provence AC Cuvée Louis David (oaked red) – Bearing the name of the founder of the vineyard, this is a special selection of older vines, aged in oak for 9 months. A third in new oak, a third on 1 year old oak, and the remaining third in oake used for 2 years. New oak can produce harsh tannins and overwhelm the wine – so using a mix of oak barrels ensures that the oak works well and is integrated with the fruitiness of the wine, rather than dominant. This creates a deep rich red wine, with complex ripe fruit flavours – spicy and warm in the mouth – great with lamb! This wine will keep for 5-10 years, but is drinking fine now. “….This Cuvée is a selection from vines grown on the older plots, partly matured in oak casks for 9 months. Very dark in colour, this wine presents aromas of crushed and even jammy ripe fruit. Matured in oak, it is wonderfully complex, mellow and well-balanced in the mouth. A wine of great finesse which can be aged for 8 years in a good cellar. Serve with lamb from the Alpilles, game or fine red meat.”
Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AC Mas Sainte Berthe – Civée Blanc de Blancs Although the vines for this super white are in Les Baux, white wines from here are classified as Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence AC, such are the obscure ways of French bureaucracy!
This is delightfully fresh and fruity but with real fruit depth (citrus, pineapple, mango?) – a big white without being flabby (or oaked). An expressive nose brimming with fruit. Fine complexity in the mouth with good balance between volume and freshness.
“…boasts a bright, pale green robe and an expressive nose brimming with fruit. Fine complexity in the mouth with good balance between volume and freshness. For drinking within 18 months after the harvest as an aperitif, or with grilled fish. Goes beautifully with goat’s cheese.”
Les Baux de Provence AC Mas Sainte Berthe – Cuvée Passe-Rosé (dry rosé) Now this is a Provence Rosé to get excited about! Good rosé is often underrated, but here we have a wine with full-body and depth of flavour, but which can still be deliciously refreshing. Far from being a compromise between red and white, it is a wine style in its own right.
Careful vinification lightens the tannins and emphasises fruit character. Serve lightly chilled – not frozen!
“A nose of small fruit brimming with raspberries and a generous mouth with spicy notes, ideal with white meat or Provençal dishes like Mediterranean mullet or bouillabaisse.”
Contact: Mas Sainte Berthe; 13520 Les Baux-de-Provence