Gallery Content

  • Petanque ball set on gravel

The lawn game of pétanque originated in the early 1900s in Provence. Originating from ancient games of throwing stones and later evolving into boules with metal balls, pétanque gained its distinct identity when a French player, Jules Lenoir, adapted the rules to accommodate his physical disabilities, thus giving birth to the game as it’s known today.

Unlike bocce, which is often played on a specially designed court, pétanque can be played on almost any flat, open space – even at the beach – making it more accessible and versatile for players of all skill levels.

It’s an easy and surprisingly competitive game that anyone can play. All you need is a patch of grass and a petanque set to play this classic French lawn game also known as boules.

How to Play

Pétanque is played with hollow metal balls (boules) and a small wooden ball called the “cochonnet” (literally “piglet” in French) or jack. The game can be played in teams of one, two, or three people. Here’s how you can get started:

1) Begin the Game: The game begins with a coin toss. The winner chooses the starting location and draws a circle on the ground – approximately 14 to 20 inches – to be used as the throwing spot (known as the “pitch” or the “ring.”) The first player stands inside the circle and throws the cochonnet 6 to 10 meters away from the circle, keeping both feet planted firmly on the ground.

2) Objective: Each team takes turns throwing or rolling their boules with the goal of getting them as close as possible to the cochonnet. Players must stand within the circle and keep both feet on the ground while throwing.

3) Scoring: After all boules are thrown, the team with the boule closest to the cochonnet scores points. This team receives one point for each boule closer to the cochonnet than the closest boule of the opposing team. The first team to reach 13 points wins the game.

4) Tactics: Precision and strategy are key in pétanque. Players can choose to either place their boule close to the cochonnet or knock their opponents’ boules away to improve their own position.

Pétanque is not only a game of skill but also a social sport that embodies the spirit of leisure and camaraderie typical of southern France. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, pétanque is the perfect game to pair with your summer sipping.

Take your pick of wines to sip in the sunshine

Mix and match our méthode traditionnelle sparkling and elegant still wines crafted from sustainably farmed Carneros estate vineyards. Shop now!

Bonus feature: You’ll have one hand free to hold your wine glass at all times. Cheers!