Domaine Souviou is a wine and olive oil producer located in a small valley in the hillsides of the Provence region of France.
The winery produces red and rosé wines under the Bandol and Côtes de Provence appellations.
Wine Reviews & Tasting Notes
Long ago, over a thousand years if one is to judge by the age of some of the olive trees on the property, man elected to live in a valley tucked away in the Saint Baume range of hills.
It was already a blessed place, with flowing water all year round: a miracle on its own in the somewhat arid landscape of Provence. The countryside was beautiful, and there was plenty of sun and water. Everything was set for Souviou to flourish…
The Provençal vegetation grew freely in all forms: pine and oak forests, strawberry plants, broom, juniper, laburnum, heather and wild iris. Among these grew fragrant wild herbs like thyme, rosemary, savory, marjoram, and especially sage, which gave birth to their name of the valley. In the Provençal language, the word for sage is soouvi. Legend has it that on the Holy Family’s flight; they passed safely through this region.
15th century manuscripts tell of local families building stone terraces on the land and cultivating crops so bountiful that only salt had to be purchased in town. The olive oil was of such fine quality that it attracted the most demanding buyers from Marseille.
Nature quickly reclaims what human beings neglect. For many years the Domaine fell into abandon. The gardens, the wildlife, the rolling hills that brought joy and abundance never left, but it was hidden from the world without a caring touch. The right vision can change all that… Today the current owner, Roger Jaar, has restored Souviou to its historical glory making it possible to share a thousand years of Provence with all.
The Côtes de Provence AOP is a large noncontiguous wine region that covers over 85 communes (towns) in the eastern region of Provence.
The boundaries of the region extend from the alpine hills near Draguignan to the coast of Saint-Tropez.
The noncontiguous parts of the region include land southeast of the Palette AOP and on the outskirts of the Bandol wine area. Wine has been made in this region for at least 2,600 years, ever since the ancient Greeks founded the city of Marseille in 600 BC.
The Mediterranean Climate, sunny, hot and dry benefits from the Mistral wind cleaning the air and blowing some of the fungi off the shore. Located in the area, The Domaine Souviou, thanks to the quality of the wine making process can use the Label of Côtes de Provence AOP, and Bandol AOP and produce red and rosé wines, blending grape varieties to offer the best of Provence.
The Souviou estate is covered in very typical Provencal silicon & limestone soils.
Vineyards & grape varieties
Domaine Souviou’s vineyards are planted with noble grape varieties such as Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and Carignan. The yield is 35 hl/ha for the Bandol and 40 hl/ha for the Côtes de Provence wines, proposedly controlled to ensure the highest quality .
The dominance of Mouvèdre is a particularity of Bandol appellation, offering its strength, highlighted by the exceptional natural climate of Provence. It is a late ripening and demanding grape variety, requiring time to express it’s powerful character. It gives red and rosé Bandol wines their ageing potential. Bandol grapes have to be manually harvested, and to follow a strict process of production low yield of a maximum 35hl/ha.
Domaine Souviou tells a story through its many vestiges of the past.
A 15th century chateau (“Bastide”) with a chapel anchors the property. More traces of history are found among the water wells, stone terraces and even bee walls. Owner and Polytechnic Engineer Roger Jaar, allowing guests to experience the way of life on the Domaine from centuries ago, have restored many of these ruins.
Walking among the 75 hectares of the Domaine, one may feel transported back to the era of Renaissance. Beyond the vineyards, the rolling hills full of olive trees, and the Roman courtyards are many hectares of untouched woodlands.
The dense, virgin forest is home to abundant wildlife. The 6000 olive trees rise above the many hills. When you finally reach the peak of the Domaine, the Mediterranean Sea sparkles in the distance. The situation of the vineyard provides the grapes with full sunshine year round, from dawn to dusk. Part of the charm at Domain Souviou is to see the traditions carried on: everything is done by hand, honoring the art of French oil and wine making.
Sustainable farming methods are used in order to show full respect for the land and produce the most natural product.
Grapes are carefully sorted at harvest and when coming into the cellar. The red wines are aged in oak wine barrels, while the rosés remain in stainless steel tanks to retain freshness and fruit character.
Domaine Souviou is now the property of Mr ROGER JAAR an international entrepreneur who carefully restored the Estate offering to Provence a place mixing history, renaissance vestiges and tradition.
He his surrounded with winemaking consultants to produce the best quality of Bandol and Côtes de Provence wines in accordance to very strict process and respecting the land, highlighting the exceptional Provencal territory and peoples savoir-faire.
Domaine Souviou produces around 8000 bottle for its red AOP Côte de Provence wines and the same quantity for the rosé.
The winery also produces Bandol wines, red and rosé.
Cellar door information
The Estate is open to public and groups; a large parking area can welcome buses and cars all year round. The cellar offers a tasting area where all products of the Estate (olive oil , Bandol wine and Côtes de Provence wines ) can be found.
A conference guide will be at the public disposal to give advice about wines, from tasting to paring and also guide every customer over the shop full of Provencal products.
The 74 hectares of the Estates also often host weddings, team building, and corporate events among the vestiges with tasting of olive oils and wine.
- Summer: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Winter: from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm