From Marseille to Bandol

La Gineste Road


A charming village nested at the foot of Cap Canaille, Cassis is set against a stunning backdrop of red cliffs advancing into the turquoise sea. The atmosphere is smart and relaxed. Cassis is known for the whiteness of the stone ‘calades’ that populate the village, itself overlooked by a medieval castle. The main square at the centre of the village dates from the XVth century and carries strong Italian influences.

A charming village nested at the foot of Cap Canaille, Cassis is set against a stunning backdrop of red cliffs advancing into the turquoise sea. The atmosphere is smart and relaxed. Cassis is known for the whiteness of the stone ‘calades’ that populate the village, itself overlooked by a medieval castle. The main square at the centre of the village dates from the XVth century and carries strong Italian influences.

On the wine side, Cassis is renowned for its blanc de blanc… an exception in Provence! It is also one of the first French AOC, originating on 15 May 1936, at the same time as the Châteauneuf, Sauterne and Arbois.

A small production of just 210 hectares, spread across 12 estates, most of them family-owned and passed down through generations. Soon to be also the first appellation in France located in a natural parc (following the Calanques national parc project).

The environment in which these vineyards are gives the appellation its unique characteristics. Located along the sea, the land is fenced in naturally and somewhat isolated between the Calanques and the Cap Canaille. The influence of the sea acts as a natural temperature regulator, which is beneficial to the white wines, allowing them to mature more slowly. For most part produce from Marsane and Clairette grapes, these fresh, crisp and tense white wines divulge an idiozed accent which complements produce from the sea perfectly.

Les Calanques. Each one more beautiful than the next, the “Calanques de Cassis” punctuate the jagged coastline. Set in between the clear blue sky and the dazzling whiteness of the stone, they stand in succession: En-Vau, Port-Miou, Port-Pin.. To be discovered on foot or by sea.

Domaine Clos Sainte-Magdeleine. A peninsula advancing into the blue seas and a site of exquisite beauty. Behind the 1930s house runs a path that cuts through the vines and stretches as far as the coast, where, legend has it, Saint Magdalen landed, thus giving the estate its name. Established in 1860 by Jules Savon, the estate was awarded a gold medal at the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris. Since then, the Clos has seen four generations succeed each other to become an official supplier to the presidential palace in recent years. Its exceptional 12 hectares of land, 70% of which are dedicated to white wine, are nurtured like a

Domaine du Paternel. Established in 1951, the Paternel estate is now under the management of the third generation: three brothers and sisters took over the reins of what is one of the largest estates in the appellation, with 50 hectares. Among them, Olivier Santini, the president of the appellation: with his inexhaustible brio, he tells of his experiences and love for wine. Aside from the Blanc de Blanc, in the tradition of fresh and fruity Cassis wines, and the Gabrielle blend, more complex, some of the vintages are christened following family events!

Domaine Saint-Louis. A passionate man, oenologist by training, who took over the family estate established in 1893 and has been producing bold and surprising wines since 1996. Laurent Jayne does things his own way, never straying away from the land. His 8 hectares of vines harbour a plot of vines that were planted in 1931! Some old Carignans plants that produce the Oratory blend some years. A very intense wine, produced in small quantities, which goes without saying. This is also where you’ll unearth a plot of Pascal Blanc grapes, which is unique around Cassis. You’ll also enjoy the Cassus Belli blend (up to you to figure out where it got its name from!), with aromas of orchard fruits, the Fonfon blend, with 6 grape varieties, or the Grande Question, which indeed, and quite frankly so, questions your palate! Laurent Jayne harvests his vines by hand and by night, and today moving towards biodynamic cultivation, he is also passionate about cooking. He organises gatherings around his herb garden and incredible collection of mint plants, with tastings of small dishes and tapas. A must!

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Domaine La Ferme Blanche. The family estate has been passed through the sons since 1714… that was until a woman finally took over the reins: Jéromine Paret is now the guardian of the 20 or so hectares on the estate, alongside her cellar master Philippe Garnier. The two blends of white wine, the Classique and the Excellence, are complemented by a surprising red wine, produced wholly from mourvèdre grapes, and a round and fruity rosé. Jéromine organises initiations to wine tasting to help you perfect your knowledge (by appointment). Quartier St Jean, RD  559.  Tél.: 04 42 01 00 74.

Access to Ladies & Wine

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Le Chai Cassidain. This small wine bar hidden in a narrow alleyway is the ideal stop to enjoy a glass of wine in a typical Cassis setting. 6, rue Séverin-Icard; Tel.: +33 4 42 01 99 80.

Le Divino. A former and quite renowned sommelier, Philippe Bellec serves up an impressive wine selection accompanied by local produce. This wine bar, in the manner of a “bouchon Lyonnais”, was opened because he wanted to do something for himself and also to share his love of wine and conviviality. High quality fois gras, truffles, cheeses and cooked meats accompany the chalked wine selection, which is regularly updated. It goes without saying that you’ll find all the Cassis wines here. In the pipeline, a tasting society and wine tasting classes should soon see the light. 3, rue Alexandre Rossat; Tel.: +33 4 42 98 83 68.

La Poissonnerie. It the restaurant everyone is talking about, the trendy address that everyone looks for on the quay of the small port of Cassis: an authentic fishmonger’s that serves wonderfully fresh dishes without pretence on its terrace. 5 Quai Jean Jacques Barthélémy; Tel.: +33 4 42 01 71 56.

La Villa Madie. A reference in gastronomic terms, with one Michelin star, that welcomes its guests in a neat setting, slightly set back from the port, overlooking the sea. Avenue Revestel – Anse de Corton; Tel.: +33 4 96 18 00 00.

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L’Eau de Cassis

This perfume craftsman has been creating unusual fragrances since 1851. An incredible method enables them to capture the sea spray, quite literally! You just need to smell “l’eau de la mer”, “l’eau de la garigue” or still “l’eau des calanques” to be transported by your sense of smell to the Mediterranean landscapes. A fragrant tasting session that resonates nicely with the aromas of the wines. 8 rue Saint-Clair; Tel.: +33 4 13 23 00 19.

L’Astoria Villa. A smart and sophisticated guest house that unashamedly offers exceptional settings in each of the four rooms located in this family house on the peninsula. 15 rue Traverse du soleil; Tel.:+ 33 4 42 62 16 60.

The Route des crêtes and La Ciotat
Winding atop the majestic spine of the Cap Canaille, at 390m of altitude, the so-called “route des crêtes” is made up of 15 km of roads and pedestrian paths, from Cassis to La Ciotat. The panoramic view is spectacular, with vertiginous view points. When you reach La Ciotat, you’ll stop at the lively port and remind yourself that this is where the first ever film in the history of cinema was filmed in 1895, L’entrée du train en gare de La Ciotat by the Lumière brothers.

Le Castellet
A panoramic view point and a delightful atmosphere in this perched up medieval village with steeped alleys and a seigneurial château from the XVth century.


A typical seaside resort in the Var region, Bandol was already popular in the XIXth century and welcomes people like Thomas Mann, Aldous Huxley, Marcel Pagnol or even Mistinguette.

Domaine Château Pradeaux. Another iconic figure of the Bandol appellation, the Château Pradeaux estate, managed by the Portalis family, has been weaving its history since 1752. For centuries it has been tied to the land and the sea that are just so close. With a majority of mourvèdre grapes and a traditional method, respectful of the vine, the estate built its reputation by producing high-quality wines, including red wines that live on very well.

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The Bandol Maison des vins. A great space to discover the Bandol vintages at the producers’ price. 238 Chemin de la Ferrage, 83330 Le Castellet; Tel.: +33 4 94 90 27 38

L’Espérance. A refined restaurant, praised for the quality of its cuisine by all the inhabitants of the Var region… A small establishment but grand cuisine! Un restaurant raffiné loué pour la qualité de sa cuisine par tous les habitants du Var… 21 Rue Doct Louis Marçon 83150 Bandol; Tel.: +33 4 94 05 85 29.

The Bandol Enoteca: Tastings, initiations, exhibitions, conference.. a vast programme that focused on the wines from the region, where each estate is represented. Open all year round. 3 Place Lucien Artaud 83150 Bandol; Tel.: +33 4 94 29 45 03


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Domaine de Terrebrune. This exceptional estate, with its world-renowned vintages of the greatest aromatic finesse, spreads across 30 hectares of vines, split over terraces that overlook the Mediterranean Sea. A site of great beauty, it seduced Georges Delille in 1963 who then bought a small farm surrounded by centennial olive trees, an overgrown vineyard and multicolour flowers. After 10 years of restructuring, his son, Reynald, having completed his oenology studies, came to help him.

Organically certified, the estate is tended to with the greatest respect: manual harvesting, manual ploughing, hoeing, etc. In some places, the earth is a red ochre, from the iron oxide, that give the estate’s wines a unique character. 724, Chemin de la Tourelle, 83190 Ollioules; Tel.: +33 4 94 74 01 30.

Access to Organic wine
As an added bonus, at the heart of the estate, you’ll find the most charming restaurant, La Table du Vigneron.