Rognes village- Château Barbebelle-
Rognes is a pretty, historic village situated between Salon de Provence and Aix en Provence, not far from the banks of the Durance River. The origin of the village dates back to the stone-age and it was built on the slopes of the Foussa (the name of the hill). It was built, destroyed and rebuilt several times over the centuries until the terrible day in 1909 when it was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake, and later abandoned.
Today the village is peacefully nestled at the foot of the Rognes hill and you can even see some of the original streets and houses which escaped the disaster.
The main industry in Rognes has always been agriculture with the vineyards producing the AOC “Coteaux d’Aix”wine which has an excellent reputation. The cultivation of the truffle has been honoured for some years by a fair held in December.
Rognes is equally well-known for the quality of its stone which has been extracted from open-cast quarries for more than 20 centuries. This same stone has become trendy today and is often seen gracing interior design magazines or in renovated residences, town-houses or prestigious properties in Aix-en-Provence.
Famous for its wine, truffles and stone, the surrounding countryside is also beautiful to discover. Large fields, carefully cultivated or left to grow wild, small modest dwellings or beautiful bourgeois residences… there is an impression that nothing has changed here for centuries and that the tranquil life-style has always reigned.
Population : 3,500 h.
Lands cultivated by Romans, a typical château from 16th centuries, 45 hectares of vines in a preserved and authentic 300 hectares nature : Château Barbebelle is one of the oldest vineyard of Aix en Provence. It is the stronghold of the Herbeau family. An history that continues with the 4th generation: Madeleine decided to join her father to write in four hands the future of the family business. Together, they intend to continue to consolidate the reputation of home wines ( wine type: “lutte raisonnée”) and highlight the qualities and the typicity of their terroir in France and in many countries.
At 16 kms of Aix-en-Provence, on the road to the Luberon, the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence vineyard occupies 45 hectares in a single estate of 300 hectares. It is in the heart of a protected wildlife, between cypress trees, pines and holm oaks, that vines draw all their wealth to give quality wines. The grape varieties of the appellation (grenache, syrah, cabernet-sauvignon, cinsault, vermentino, sauvignon …) are settled on a homogeneous territory of clayey-limestone slopes on a hilly relief, favorable to viticulture, very representative of Provence » The vineyards in Coteaux enjoy an excellent sunshine. Nevertheless, they do not suffer too much from the heat.
Clay and limestone soils retain moisture. The rugged relief ensures good ventilation and the average altitude of the vineyard – 370 meters – gives fresh nights even in summer. Finally, the mistral de Provence naturally cleanses the grapes. This brings a little respite to the plants which ripen with more regularity. In addition, the field practices respect for the environment and for quality a reasoned agriculture validated by the label « Mediterranean nutrition »(treatments are minimized).