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Rhône

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From North to South, discover the wines of the Rhone Valley

Share and other Rhone extends one of the largest vineyards in France, 2e after the Bordeaux region in terms of production volume. On 6 departments, the Rhone Valley has nearly 80 000 hectares of vines, which produce wines of three colors, natural sweet wines and sparkling wine. This vast region offers a wide variety of vintages and appellations. The most prestigious are, red, Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and side white, Condrieu and Hermitage and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

General presentation

The vineyards of the Rhône Valley unfolds along the River, between Vienna North and Avignon in the South. It covers the departments of the Rhone, the Loire, Ardèche and Gard on the right bank; on the Drôme and Vaucluse on the left bank. More than 1,300 communes are included in this broad and produce about 3 000 000 hectolitres of wine per year. It's the red wine that dominates, but the Rhone Valley also produces pink wine, some white wine, sparkling wine and natural sweet wine.

Particularly extensive and heterogeneous, the oldest wine growing region of France is also distinguished by a wide variety of grapes. Syrah, grenache, the cinsault and carignan mainly produce red and rosé wines. Viognier, marsanne, roussanne, grenache white, clairette and bourboulenc, among other things, give birth to white wines.

Appellations

The Rhone Valley counts of multiple wine appellations, divided the River into two main sets: the Northern Rhône Valley and southern Rhône Valley.

The regional appellations include the traditional sides-du-Rhône, in red, white and pink. They are produced mainly in the South of the vineyard. With 171 communes, these wines are relatively heterogeneous. Sides-du-Rhône-villages are more demanding and are produced in a hundred villages in the Gard, Vaucluse and Drome.

Each Department has many local names:

  • In the Rhone: Cote-Rotie, Condrieu
  • In the Loire: Condrieu, Château-Grillet, St. Joseph
  • In the Ardeche: Saint-Joseph, Saint-peray
  • In the Drôme: Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Vinsobres
  • In the Vaucluse: Gigondas, York, Rasteau, Cairanne, Vacqueyras and Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • In the Gard: Tavel, Lirac

Natural sweet wines are available in two names, produced in the Vaucluse: Muscat of York and Rasteau.

Finally, are AOC classified:

  • In the Drôme: Die Clairette, Châtillon-en-Diois, Grignan-les-Adhémar (Drôme)
  • In the Vaucluse: Ventoux, sides of the Luberon
  • In the Gard and Ardèche: sides du Vivarais
  • In the Gard: Bellegarde Clairette, Costières de Nîmes

The vineyard

South of Lyon to Avignon, Rhone Valley offers a wide variety of climates, soils, grape varieties, landscapes and know-how. It is therefore all a mosaic appellations and vintages that occurred on these lands with very different properties. To understand it better, we divide the Valley in two large sets: the Rhone Valley North (North) and the Valley of the southern Rhône (South).

Northern Rhone Valley

To the North, between Vienna and Valencia, the vines are planted on steep hillsides located on both sides of the river. Here is the syrah that is necessary for red wines. They are often qualitative and are characterised by their depth and their finesse. Balanced and aromatic white wines are mainly from marsanne, roussanne and viognier grapes.

About 4 700 hectares are produced appellations. The most sought-after vintages are: Côte-Rôtie, Château Grillet, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Cornas and Saint-peray.

Southern Rhone Valley

The southern part of the Rhône Valley covers more than 70 000 hectares, distributed along the river and on its area of convergence and its tributaries. Montélimar to Avignon, the Mediterranean climate is originally complex soils, which requires Assembly wines. Three Kings grapes are grenache, syrah and Mourvèdre. Whites dominate the bourboulenc and clairette. White grenache, cinsault, carignan, rolle... also make up the high range in color of the Rhône varietals from the South.

This vineyard 17 names, which include: Vacqueyras, Ventoux, (AOC in pink) Tavel, Gigondas, Cairanne, Lirac, Duchy of Uzès, Châteauneuf-du-Pape...