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The Sainte-Baume vineyard, a sacred land

Sport, Tourist routes in Aubagne
  • A primary forest, unique and magical, a massif that reigns supreme over the surrounding valleys, an impressive peak culminating at 1041 m, the Sainte-Baume imposes its coronation like no other.

  • The air is crisp and the panorama striking. A colorful wine-growing area is hidden in its limestone folds. Like a thousand-year-old monastery perched on its cliff, the cave - the baume in Provençal - of Sainte-Marie Madeleine, watches over the valley from where it receives the angels' share of the surrounding wine cellars.
    Placed under the sign of divine protection, it is perhaps the magic that prevails here in the transformation of the grape into wine...
    The Domaine du Rosier is the only...
    The air is crisp and the panorama striking. A colorful wine-growing area is hidden in its limestone folds. Like a thousand-year-old monastery perched on its cliff, the cave - the baume in Provençal - of Sainte-Marie Madeleine, watches over the valley from where it receives the angels' share of the surrounding wine cellars.
    Placed under the sign of divine protection, it is perhaps the magic that prevails here in the transformation of the grape into wine...
    The Domaine du Rosier is the only wine estate in Aubagne: a Provencal countryside located 500m from the historic heart of the city. It extends its vineyards and olive trees on a surface of 4 ha with a 360° view on the Garlaban massifs, Sainte Baume, Carpiagne, the Huveaune Valley.

    Leaving the estate, turn right on chemin de Fenestrelle. At the next crossroads, turn left towards the city center and at the traffic lights, turn right, avenue des soeurs Gastine. When you arrive in front of the stadium, turn right on avenue des Goums, towards the tourist office. At the traffic circle turn left onto Cours Maréchal Foch. Continue on Cours Voltaire, then on avenue Roger Salengro.
    Continue straight ahead in the direction of Aix. At the big traffic circle take the 2nd exit on the right but be careful, then take on the left direction Lascours on the RD44E, chemin de longue lance. After 1k5, turn left towards Lascours. (chemin de Lascours D44E).
    Lascours is located on the Garlaban foothills, a characteristic landscape of the Provencal countryside with its terraced vineyards, orchards, olive groves, and a myriad of mas.
    In the village continue on the D44E to Roquevaire. When you arrive in Roquevaire, pass under the tunnel of the old railroad and turn left on rue du pont de Garnière.
    Then at the crossroads turn right on the Bd Piot and in front of the town hall turn left on the D96 towards La Destrousse.
    When you reach the center of La Destrousse, turn left on the D7 towards Peypin. In the center of Peypin, turn right on the D46 towards La Bouilladisse. When you reach La Valdonne, turn right on the D908 and then right on the departmental road 8.
    On your left the Roque Forcade estate
    The Château de la Roque Forcade, located in Peypin, between Aix en Provence and Marseille, is a jewel in the heart of Provence. Since its creation by the Italian General Doria 500 years ago, this unique place has kept the soul of its agricultural domain. Between vineyards, beehives and olive trees, its beautiful bastide welcomes today all types of events, from weddings to seminars, as well as amazing birthdays and refined general assemblies.

    When leaving the estate, turn left towards La Destrousse on the D8. At La Destrousse, at the big traffic circle take the 2nd exit onto the D45E (called chemin de Trets) towards Les Roquettes, le Pigeonnier.
    After about 1k500, at the crossroads turn right onto the 45A towards Auriol.
    After about 5k500, leave the D45A on the left by the chemin de La Michèle. After 100 meters, take the access road to the Domaine de la Michèle.
    In the heart of Provence and leaning against the "Régagnas" where the communes of Auriol, Trets, La Bouilladisse and Saint Zacharie meet, the Domaine "La Michelle" is a paradise for vines and olive trees. They have been cultivated there for three generations. Today, Nelly and Jean-François Margier are passionately involved in their operation. Recently, the caper trees have made their return. Long a regional specialty, they had been abandoned a century ago. Nelly and Jean-François have re-planted them.
    On leaving the domain, turn right onto the Chemin de La Michelle. This road arrives on the D45, which you take on the right. After 200 meters turn left on the D150 and cross the Huveaune.
    When you reach the D560, turn right towards Auriol. 500 meters after, you will find the cellar of the Vignerons du Garlaban.

    Created in 1924, the cooperative cellar of Auriol gradually grew until the 1970s.
    With the arrival of the freeway and the urbanization of the commune, the decline of the table grape, the production started to decrease. It was therefore at the end of the 1980s that the leaders of the cooperatives of Auriol and the neighboring communes began to discuss the future by joining forces. The cooperative wineries of La Destrousse, Gemenos, Cuges-les-Pins and Saint-Zacharie successively joined the Auriol cooperative. This is the birth of the VIGNERONS DU GARLABAN, a rock dear to Marcel Pagnol and visible to all our cooperators.

    From May 2019, a wine trail will run through the vineyards of Auriol and Saint-Zacharie.

    When leaving the cellar parking lot, turn left towards Auriol and at the next traffic circle, take the 4th exit, the D45A towards Plan d'Aups. Here you will find the Domaine de La Michèle store.
    Go up slowly to the top of the Sainte Baume massif. Drive for a few kilometers and before entering the Var department, at the place called la Coutronne, turn right on the D2 to the teeth of Roque Forcade. This particular limestone formation gave the name to the Domaine de Roque Forcade.
    Stop at the pass of Roussargue or the pass of Espigoulier to admire the view of the Aubagne basin and Marseille.
    Go down the winding road to Gémenos.
    Cross the village, rue Saint Pons, then turn right on Cours Sudre, then left on Cours Pasteur then bd des Alliés. When you reach the stop sign on the RD396, turn left towards Cuges-les-pins. The RD396 meets the RD8. Turn left towards Cuges-les-pins.

    When you arrive in Cuges, park in the center and walk up to the Saint Antoine chapel to have a view on the polje of Cuges, planted with vines. Get back in the car and retrace your steps. On your way out of Cuges, stop at Domaine de la Lune.
    Cuges-les-pins is the largest polje in France, 5 km long and 1.5 km wide. It is a vast karstic depression with a flat bottom. All the rainwater received in the basin of Cuges are drained to the losses (ponors or embuts) allowing their underground evacuation.
    When you arrive at the col de l'Ange, turn left on the D1 in the direction of Roquefort la Bédoule. At the next crossroads, 300 meters further on, turn right still on the D1. This road weaves its way through the garrigue and the forest and before arriving in Roquefort, a wine-growing plain appears on your left. Here is the vineyard of Château Barbanau. This estate also has a property in the vineyard of the AOC Cassis: Val Bruyère.

    Leaving the estate, turn left on the D1 in the direction of the highway. 50 meters before the highway, the cooperative cellar of the Vignerons de Roquefort La Bédoule

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