Sainte Roseline was of a high birth , born january 27th 1263 the oldest daughter of Arnaud de Villeneuve and Sybille de Sabran in the Chateau of Les Arcs. She devoted all her life to help the poor. She died january 17th 1329 at the age of 66 and was buried in plain ground. Her body was exhumed five years later and happened to be perfectly conserved with her eyes open and with a clear, generous expression. This was deemed amiracle and with all her life devoted to help the poor, she was declared a saint. Her body was subsequently exposed to the faith of the pilgrims, who came from afar to pray near her remains. You can see clearly her face, hands, and bare feet on the picture.
This is a well organized estate, and visitors can have a tour in french & english at the same time , which begins with the chapel and follows with the wine production facilities and the cellars, ending with the sampling of several wines the tasting room and wine shop. The visit with tasting costs 4 Euro altogether.
We follow our guide with a dozen tourists from France and northern Europe . In the chapel first . Beautiful religious art . Also a mosaic by Marc Chagall (1975), which is there due to the help of the Maeght family to restore this chapel . Pilgrims come continuously to the chapel , but the major pilgrimage takes place on january 17th (Sainte Roseline day in the calendar) . Now the wine production facilities : The Chateau is one of the 18 "crus classes" of the Provence wine regions and appellations , in wich about 700 Domaines & Chateaux are listed .Our guide shows us the harvest room where air-con trucks bring the grapes that are then processed vertically to 2 lower levels . This room being basically of practical use only at harvest time , it is now rented for weddings , seminars , concerts (up to 500 people)... We now go to the lower levels . The Chateau invested heavily in state of the art technology , and quite everything around has been bought in the last 10 years . The vineyards surface has jumped from 50 hectares a few years ago to 110 hectares today, also partly resulting from higher vine concentration per hectare . In the lower levels under the harvest room , many different sizes of stainless steel vats with different functions . The picture upper right shows vats holding 3 separate containers vertically each . On one of them , respective volumes were marked as 170 , 105 , 100 hectoliters .
Now the cellars . Different rooms , many casks . Selected casks from Seguin-Moreau , Boutes , Mercier , Dargoud , wich are changed after 3 years . Two big cellar rooms with many casks and foudres . The one for the reds is said to hold 23 foudres and 250 casks . The other cellar , for the whites and rose wines , holds 200 casks . Full capacity of these two cellars is equivalent to 240 000 bottles . If I remberer correctly , we visited also a cellar of "Cuvee Prestige" wines with many casks , and this cellar was even colder than the other ones .
We then went to the tasting room :
__1__ Chateau Sainte Roseline Cotes de Provence cru classe 2003 white . Rolle , Semillon , Clairette . 10,9 Euro .
__2__ Chateau Sainte Roseline Cotes de Provence cru classe white "Cuvee Prieure" 2003 . Rolle & Semillon . Woody . 14,2 Euro .
__3__ Chateau Sainte Roseline Cotes de Provence cru classe 2003 rose "Cuvee Lampe de Meduse" Named because of the special bottle shape . Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, Mourvedre . 13,65 Euro .
__5__ Chateau Sainte Roseline Cotes de Provence cru classe red 2003 . Cabernet Sauvignon , Grenache , Mourvedre . 12,75 Euro .
__6__ Chateau Sainte Roseline Cotes de Provence cru classe red 2002 "Cuvee Prieure" 70% Syrah, plus Cinsault and a little of Mourvedre . 13,5° . Good potential with some more years . Already very good . 16,9 Euro .