Legend has it that the famous "Calisson d'Aix", a sort of marzipan confectionery, takes its name from a hillside on the Calissanne estate which used to be planted with almond trees. Without that sun-kissed slope, the legend goes, the "Calisson" might never have been invented… But vines and olive trees are what have built the latter-day reputation of this vast estate dotted with Mediterranean trees - which provide natural shelter for wildlife such as partridge and wild boar.
In the fourth century BC, Calissanne was the "Oppidum of Constantine", a stronghold occupied by Celtic-Ligurians; today it still surveys the estate, and its superb northern rampart, reworked by the Romans in the first century AD, is still highly visible. It was during this era, as the Romans advanced northwards up the Rhône Valley, that the estate was planted with vines and olive trees. Calissanne retains plentiful traces of that Gallo-Roman period,including a first-century amphora - unearthed in 1990 during tilling between the vines - and the remains of several villas scattered at the foot of the Oppidum.