Wine tasting in Nice is, as the French would say, ooh la la une expérience extraordinaire. That's something which you may find surprising as Nice isn't particularly renowned on the French wine circuit, but there's a good reason for that. The wines of Nice are so good that they like to keep them all to themselves, and once you've had a sip or two at a wine tasting, you'll start to understand why.
Nice is surrounded by several of France's prestigious wine regions. You'll quite likely be offered wines produced from the vineyards of the Côtes de Provence, Bandol, and Cassis at pretty much most wine tastings you go to in Nice. They're some of the more productive appellations in the Provence wine region, and while rosé is the wine that dominates the market, there are some palatable reds and whites made in Provence too.
To taste the best of the best in Nice, though, you don't need to go on a lengthy, time-consuming winery tour along the Côte d'Azur. There's a winery on the outskirts of Nice in such a stunning setting that it will leave you breathless before you've even had a sip of their outstandingly lovely wines.
Whether you're going on a wine tasting trip visiting wineries in the Provence region or just doing wine tastings in the city as something to do in Nice at night, doing it with your baggage in tow is not the best idea. You'll need two free hands for tasting wine, one for the glass and the other to pick at the nibbles, so carrying stuff around won't be comfortable or convenient. If you need somewhere secure to leave your luggage, then the best solution by far is to use a Bounce luggage locker in Nice.
Château de Bellet
A wine tasting experience in Nice doesn't get better than the one you'll have at the Château de Bellet. This amazing small vineyard and winery occupies a hilltop within the city limits of Nice, and while it's only a 15-minute cab ride from Nice Old Town, you could be in the middle of the French countryside miles from anywhere.
With a name like Château de Bellet, you might expect this winery to be housed in a historic castle-like French chateau, but it's not. The winery is a relatively modern construction topped by a renovated 19th-century church and deluxe events venue, below which are the subterranean cellars where the wine is aged. The view from the upper patio is amazing and a popular spot for wedding photos.
Go on a winery tour of the Château de Bellet, and you'll be given a map and left to wander through the vineyards at your own pace. When you've explored enough, you'll be given a guided tour of the winery and then get to taste the wines from the three types of grapes they grow.
The chateau is truthfully somewhere you may want to spend an entire morning or afternoon. As well as the general wine tastings, you can take a picnic in the vineyards, take an oenology workshop, or participate in a game of petanque. But, sometimes, the best thing to do is just chill out with a bottle of wine under the olive trees and immerse yourself in the wonderful Mediterranean atmosphere. It is truly a wine lovers paradise.
482 Chem. de Saquier, 06200 Nice
La Part des Anges
No wine lover could walk past the door of La Part de Anges and not be tempted to go in. This wine cave on the Rue Gubernatis stocks over 300 different wines and then some. Enter the shop, and it'll be like going on a worldwide wine tasting tour as they have a selection of French and international wines plus sparkling wine and champagne.
Stumble across this place when you're out sightseeing, and well, you can forget about sightseeing for a couple of hours, at least - especially if it's almost lunchtime. La Part des Anges is a dedicated wine shop, but one with a wine bar and a cellar that's been converted into a mini-bistro.
At lunchtime, they offer wine tastings, with no added corkage fees, accompanied by small, simple plates of food. There are usually ten different wines on offer, along with one top recommendation that goes exceptionally well with the chef's special of the day. It's definitely worth putting off your sightseeing for.
7 Rue Gubernatis, 06000 Nice
As the name might suggest, Cave 35 is another wine shop in Nice and, as all good French wine shops go, one with a hidden bar. Go through the door of this well-stocked establishment on the Rue de la Buffa, and you'll be mind-boggled by the variety of wines on the shelves, but the best part of this shop, though, is the bar in the back.
Behind the shelves of wine bottles and out of direct view is a spacious bar where the wine tastings take place. The décor is basic, but the wines are anything but. Here you can tempt your taste buds with a glass of the local Provence rosé or go for something more sophisticated like a vintage from the Abbey of Lerins.
35 Rue de la Buffa, 06000 Nice
Best Wine Tours From Nice
Abbey of Lerins
Plan on visiting the Abbey of Lerins, and not only will you be able to do some fantastic wine tasting, but you'll also have an amazing day out.
The Abbey of Lerins is located on an offshore island between Nice and Cannes called Ile Saint-Honorat. You will need to catch the Planaria ferry from the Quai des Isles in Cannes. It's a sailing that takes around 20 minutes. If you drive to Cannes from Nice, then you'll need to park your vehicle somewhere as it's a pedestrian-only boat.
The abbey monks cultivate eight hectares of vineyards with six different grapes with eco-friendly viticultural methods. Basically, they do everything by hand the old-fashioned way. It's a slow way of life that you can't help but embrace once you're there.
Tours of the abbey vineyards are conducted by a sommelier only on the first Friday of the month and only in English on the first tour of the day at 11:30 am. The short tour is followed by an outdoor tasting of Saint Pierre and Saint Honorat wines among the vines.
Once you've had your wine tasting, it'll be time to set off and explore the rest of the island, which has some unique historical sites, before catching the boat back to the mainland.
Île Saint-Honorat, 06400 Cannes
Château de Berne
Make an escape from Nice to enjoy a short drive along the stunning French Riviera before following the road signs inland to the town of Lorgues. In the countryside just north of Lorgues is the luxury hotel and winery, the Château de Berne.
The superbly restored 18th-century Château de Berne is surrounded by two and a half thousand acres of woodlands and olive groves, 400 acres of which are dedicated to organic growing grapes.
Have a wander around the stunning manicured gardens or take a hike through the olive trees, then take a sommelier-led tour of the wine cave before entering the tasting room to try the delicious wines they produce here. If you feel like spoiling yourself, you can get a spa treatment too or take a cooking class overseen by a top chef in the cooking school.
The wine cave tour, tasting room experience, spas, and cooking classes must be pre-booked online before arriving.
Chemin des Imberts, 83780 Flayosc
Château Roubine is another reputable vineyard on the outskirts of Lorgues where you can drop in for a wine tasting. While they do produce red and white here, it's the pale rosé that is their most popular wine. In all honesty, it's sublime and one all wine lovers would be proud to display in their rack.
The Château Roubine likes their visitors to get to know the vineyards and so invites their guests to take a hike through a 13-hectare section of the vineyard. You'll be issued with a map that indicates the route around the vineyard and denotes the 13 points of interest where there is informative signage. This is an interesting stroll for historians, too, as the chateau once belonged to the Knights Templars so you'll be walking on ground once trodden by the historic crusaders.
Rather than using a tasting room, presentations and wine tastings at the Château Roubine are held on the terrace from where you can view the full expanse of the vineyards, which cover around 72 hectares.
Visits to the Château Roubine need to be pre-booked. Opening times vary depending on the season, so check on the official website before visiting.
4216 Rte de Draguignan, 83510 Lorgues
While in the vicinity of Lorgues, you may want to continue your Provence wine tasting experience by heading a few miles northeast to Draguignan. Domaine Rabiega is one of Provence's hidden gems, and while it's a smaller, less luxurious installation than the Château de Berne, it's well worth a visit in its own right.
The Domaine Rabiega is a rural hotel surrounded by ten hectares of vineyards from which they produce some very fine wines. If you've ever had participating in a grape harvest on your bucket list, then this could be the place to do it. They'll welcome you with open arms for the picking and the harvesting of the olives, too, so long as you don't mind paying a hefty price for the pleasure of working hard from dawn to dusk.
The Domaine Rabiega offers a variety of wine tastings where you can sample the estate’s rosé, reds, and whites. If you decide to buy a few bottles, then the price of the wine tasting is discounted from your purchase.
The wine cellars of the Domaine Rabiega are closed to visitors from mid-July through to mid-November because of the annual harvesting and production, so try to plan accordingly.
516 Chem. du Cros d'Aimar, 83300 Draguignan
Chateau du Rouet
The Chateau du Rouet is another one of the Provence wine region's hidden gems. The Chateau du Rouet is located in Le Muy, around an hour's drive from Nice and 20 minutes from Lorgues if you want to slot in another visit while you're in that area.
The Chateau du Rouet has been producing wine since the mid-19th century, and that experience is evident in the high-quality wine they produce. Wine tastings are conducted in the tasting room of the vineyard's wine shop by the current estate owner, who knows a thing or two about their wine, predominantly red.
The Chateau du Rouet is a relatively small family-run winery who don't have full-time staff for guided tours of the vineyards. Here you won't be wandering through the vines just sipping the end results and maybe taking a bottle or two back to Nice with you.
Route Bagnols, 83490 Le Muy
There's no doubt that Provence in Southern France is one of the most exciting wine regions to explore, and Nice is the ideal base to do it from. You don't have to be a wine expert either, as there are multiple ways you can immerse yourself in the products of this wonderful wine country, even if you're a novice oenophile. If you have three days in Nice to go wine tasting rather than just one day, even better.
Whether you join a private tour organized by a tour provider, hit several tasting rooms in the city itself, or go on your own independent wine tour, it'll be a voyage of discovery. Wines grown inland from the French Riviera are truly in a league of their own. You'll notice the quality even if you just drink a glass in a local restaurant. Provence wine's excellent reputation is certainly warranted, so while you're in the area, make sure to enjoy it.