Above: The vineyard at Château de Pibarnon in La Cadière d'Azur, France

Just 20 miles southeast ofMarseille, the pretty little seaside town of Cassis is backed by a wine-producing region known for its light, elegant whites. Though small, with only 12 producers, Cassis is one of the oldest Appellation d’Origine Contrôlées (together with Sauternes and Châteauneuf-du-Pape), dating to 1936. Cassis whites, which are excellent with seafood, characteristically have a complex nose that marries perfumes of citrus fruits, white flowers, honey, almonds andla garrigue, the wild herbs that grow in the countryside here. The white grape varieties of the zone are Marsannay Blanc, Clairette Blanche, Ugni Blanc, Sauvignon, Bourboulenc Blanc and Pascal Blanc. Among the producers offering tastings and cellar tours,Clos Sainte Magdeleine, open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday from April through September, is one of my favorites.

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Above: The vineyard at Château de Pibarnon in La Cadière d'Azur, France

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