An old wine tradition

 
Cadastre 1811In Provence, wine growing goes back to the 6th century B.C, to the period when Marseille was founded. This means that our region has the oldest vineyards in France. The first land register, established in 1811 at the request of Napoleon, shows that some of our plots of land were planted with vines quite as many farmlands of our city “Pierrefeu du Var”.



L'Amour Courtois

In the Middle Ages, the spouses of knights who had gone off on crusades had a playful, artistic and philosophical activity called “The Courts of Love”.
Here, surrounded by troubadours, these ladies set up country courts in which they openly debated questions concerning love and society in general: for example: “while my Lord is away at war, is it forbidden for me to look at another man? ” or “Are we deceiving our spouse if we have feelings for someone else?”
The questions were voiced and they were then the object of an orchestrated debate where roles were decided on and distributed throughout the audience.
At the end of the debate the Chairwoman summarized what had been said and gave the final conclusion. The final decision often favored the woman. It was at this time that courtesy and chivalry came into being. A song relating the debate was composed and then sung by the troubadours.
The Love Courts spread across the whole of the country (the most famous being the one presided over by Eleanor of Aquitaine) but were not numerous. Only three existed in Provence, one of them being in Pierrefeu and was presided over by Rostangue at the end of the XIIth century.
It was to pay tribute to this famous local “Lady of Pierrefeu” (who labored for women’s rights during a very difficult period in history) that our vineyard was baptized Rostangue.