By Paul Caputo

Despite the growing interest and excitement around the wines of Provence, the little appellation of Palette has not yet managed to have its moment on stage. Attention is still very much on the ‘break away’ terroir designations of Saint-Victoire, Fréjus, and La Londe, that since 2005 have sought to differentiate themselves from the more commercial wines labelled as the Côtes de Provence by emphasising the unique terroir of these micro locations.

Curiously though, Palette was granted official status in 1948 off the back of its distinctive limestone floor, known as Calcaire de Langesse. Situated just north of Saint-Victoire and south of the town of Aix-en-Provence, Palette, named after the village of the same name, possesses a terroir worthy of deeper inspection. Certainly, it offers similar characteristics to the very trendy designations putting Provence on the wine map.

One of the primary reasons for its relative obscurity is its small size. Less than fifty hectares are currently in operation here, and half of these are owned by a single estate - Château Simone. The majority of vineyards are to be found within the communes of Meyreuil and Le Tholone, as well as a handful in Aix-en-Provence.