The prestigious Northern Rhône appellations account for less than 5% of the total Rhône wine production.[5]. Diois AOP (bonus! The southern Rhône produces over 95% of the region’s wine output, including almost all Côte du Rhône as well as more prestigious appellations such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. As in the Northern Rhône, the Southern Rhône escaped major frost damage in late April, though some small parcels with poor air drainage were hit. Keep an eye out for labels bearing one of the 21 villages that are allowed to declare their names. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is considered –by most– to be the benchmark of the Southern Rhône. The Northern and Southern Rhône are unique, each with vastly different geography, climate, soils and grape varieties, but share one thing in common – the Rhône River. In 1737 the King decreed that all casks destined for resale should be branded C.D.R. You’ll also encounter Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, Carignan, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Bourboulenc and a host of minor players. The excess production of many domains and cooperatives is released as Vin de Pays which are marketed as Vin de Pays du Gard, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, etc., or are sold to blenders of wine from the European Union, and mass food distribution for sale as own brands. [4] Those vineyard owners which do not vinify their wines themselves deliver their grapes in bulk either to a winemaking cooperative, of which there are 103 in the region, or sell them to one of the 51 négociants (wine producers and merchants) who blend, distribute, and export on an industrial scale. The differing terroirs, together with the rugged landscape which partly protects the valleys from the Mistral, produce microclimates which give rise to a wide diversity of wines. The Rhône wine region in Southern France is situated in the Rhône valley and produces numerous wines under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations. The fruits that are grown on the côtes, or hillsides, of the Rhone River Valley, are turned into the approachable and affordable Cotes du Rhone wines (and maybe a bit of Beaumes de Venise in the higher elevations). Native garrigue and lavender are major influences. This AOC is also used by the commercial blenders (négociants) who buy grapes in bulk from various parts of the region to bottle, distribute, and export on an industrial scale. Produce from vineyards surrounding certain villages including Cairanne and others may be labeled Côtes-du-Rhône Villages AOC. The Oxford Companion to Wine (3rd Ed. Nicole Rolet. Gigondas AOC, on the other hand, is predominantly made from Grenache noir has a more restricted set of permitted grapes. These wines usually do not conform to the rules of a VDQS or AOC. These wines are easy drinking, food loving wines that are perfect for everyday. During the middle ages, the south of France was a popular holiday retreat for the Popes and they loved the refreshing rose wines that came from this region – so much so that they decreed that nothing else should be produced. Originally recognized as Coteaux de Tricistan in 1973, this region was allowed to change its name in 2012. The name Côtes du Rhône comes from public administration in the Middle Ages and was the name (Côte without 's') of a district in the Gard département. Another region famous for its sweet ‘Vin Doux’ Rasteau has been producing its famous Grenache-based fortified wine for hundreds of years. Great with everyday meals, they are eminently drinkable and can be enjoyed without years of aging. There is plenty to love about Cairanne, not least its community spirit, nurtured by generations of winemakers, its hot, dry weather and its fruity, elegant wines. With a more Mediterranean influence, the sunny hot weather produces wines that are deep and bold, with lots of black fruit, leather and licorice. Low rainfall and plentiful sun have made the region of Lirac a prime vineyard area for two thousand years. The “Roasted Slope” is home to some of the steepest vineyards in all of France. They blow fungus-loving moisture from the grape clusters and, in summer, bring welcome cooler temperatures. The various AOC wines of the Rhône Valley region are produced by over 6,000 wine growing properties including 1,837 private wineries and 103 cooperatives. One of the best places in the world for Syrah. 572-4. But it was the Romans who really established the vineyards and reputation of the area using the Rhône as their highway through France (and planting a few vineyards along the way). The climate is ‘Continental’–hot summers, cold winters and precipitation throughout the year. The same is true of the Northern Rhone. It’s notable in that it has the highest vineyards in France (2800 feet). The Northern Rhône is a mere 40 miles long and is responsible for a tiny 4-5% of all the wines from the region. Size: 12" x 16"Scale: 1:710,000 Location: Made in USA. https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/food-facts/rhone-valley-wine-region.htm The vineyards are planted on steep hillsides that are terraced with man-made walls of local river rocks called ‘restanque’. Several wineries produce wines from organically cultivated vines that, provided they comply with the rules for varieties, plant spacing, pruning and maximum yield, are admitted in the AOC. The Rhône wine region in Southern France is situated in the Rhône valley and produces numerous wines under various Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) designations. The vineyards are planted with nine varieties in three distinct soil types: Your wine smarts deserve to be on the next level. The vineyards lie on extremely steep slopes on either side of a deep valley, creating a slightly warmer microclimate, giving us zesty sparklers made in the traditional Champenoise method. Major Southern Rhone Wine Appellations Chateauneuf-du-Pape: The most famous and regal of the southern Rhone appellations, Chateauneuf du Pape ("the new home of the pope") generally makes wines that fetch the highest prices, get the highest ratings and will age the longest of all these wines. Yet others suggested the grape came from the Sicilian city of Syracuse, whence circa 280 AD the Romans brought it and the Viognier grape. To this day, Tavel is synonymous with Rose-in fact they have dubbed themselves “Le Roi des Rosés” – “ The King of Roses”. Seems there was a nuclear power plant in the area with the same name that had a little meltdown in 2008; not a marketer’s dream! Its climate is influenced by the mistral wind, which brings colder air from the Massif Central. This was the very first AOC to be recognized when the system was instituted in 1936. Each contributes its own influence to the wines, creating Rose with a deep pink hue, lots of red fruits, berry and stone fruit flavors. Viticultural Areas Northern Rhône Southern Rhône Die Print Edition Durable, water and tear resistant polyart high density paper. (You might need your magnifying specs for this one). These were the wines from the area around Tavel, Roquemaure, Lirac and Chusclan on the western ('right') bank of the Rhône. I like to call it the ‘cashmere sweater’ of white wines! The northern sub-region produces red wines from the Syrah grape, sometimes blended with up to 20% of white wine grapes, and white wines from Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier grapes. Most of the production is Syrah and the wines really need some time to show their true character – round and full bodied with red fruits, wild flowers and leather. Châteauneuf-du-Pape Wine Facts. The vineyards are located on both sides of the river between Vienne and Avignon, just south of Lyon. Classic Southern Rhône style with mulberries, garrigue, ripe and meaty, crisp mid palate with good length. Just over 100 years later, wines from the 'left' bank were included in the C.D.R. The entire Rhône region produces around 4 million hl of wine each year, of which over half is classified under the Côte du Rhône and Côte du Rhône-Villages appellations. Rhône is ready to welcome you to the wines of France. A feature of the cultivation of the region is the use of large pebbles around the bases of the vines to absorb the heat of the sun during the day to keep the vines warm at night when, due to the cloudless skies, there is often a significant drop in temperature. The Diois (Dee-wah) is an isolated region about 30 miles east of the Rhone River. The reds from the left bank are full bodied, rich in tannins while young, and are characterized by their aromas of prune, undergrowth, chocolate and ripe black fruit. Provence is located on the Mediterranean coast at the southern end of the Rhone Valley. Côtes du Rhône is south-east France's warmer, richer, spicier answer to the dry austerity of AC Bordeaux. Learn how to create your own. local, but not on the Rhône river). Typically it is only used if the wine does not qualify for an appellation that can command a higher price. There are, however, differences between the Rhône AOCs regarding their geographical delineation and naming practices, which, in turn, provide a classification into four distinct categories: Different grape varieties are allowed in the different Rhône appellations; a few appellations are single variety appellations, while the regional Côtes du Rhône appellation allow 21 different varieties. Wine map of the Southern Rhône – click for a larger view. Whites make up a small 6% of production but are worth trying. This is the home of Viognier and at one time was the only place to find it. I adore vino so much I even married a winemaker. The southern Rhône sub-region has a more Mediterranean climate with milder winters and hot summers. The origins of the two most important grape varieties in the northern Rhone (Syrah and Viognier) have in the past been subject to speculation. The Rhône Valley was created during the last ice age as the Rhône Glacier carved its way south through what is now France. Plus, when to drink the wines. The Roman legions knew about the great wines from this area! Lirac produces wines that are aromatic, structured and elegant with black fruit, truffle and cocoa notes in the reds, deep berry red fruits in the Roses and fresh, aromatic whites. Syrah loves the well draining granite soils and soaks up the sun on the south facing slopes. The region's major appellation in production volume is Côtes du Rhône AOC. Spicy, earthy, chocolatey and deep, these are wines made for aging, if you can resist! I love talking, writing, reading, learning, and teaching, about wine. Cairanne is a delightful village set on a rocky outcrop, offering visitors an irresistible range of luscious red and white wines. The second largest wine-producing region in France, the Rhône Valley vineyards thrive on both sides of the river. The southern Rhône's most famous red wine is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a blend containing up to 19 varieties of wine grapes (ten red and nine white) as permitted by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC rules. This map was created by a user. Wines are produced from Syrah, with Marsanne and Roussanne, and range from easy drinking to cellar worthy. Wine Map of France France, a map of its wine regions: France, from the prestigious wines of Bordeaux to the sparkling wines of Champagne through the oceans of vines found in Aquitaine and Languedoc to the string of appellations of the Rhônes Valley rolling down to … These wines are great for aging. Côtes du Rhône are the basic AOC wines of the Rhône region, and exist as red , white and rosé wines, generally dominated by Grenache for reds and rosés, or Grenache blanc for whites. This nevertheless makes it the most commonly known, produced, and distributed appellation of the region. The colour is lovely, not deep, not place, but bright and appealing. Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the very first French wine … The vineyards are terraced to keep the soil from eroding, retain the warmth of the sun and make life a little easier for the vineyard workers! Domaine des Carabiniers Lirac rouge (Biodynamic Wine) Grenache noir : 60%, Syrah : 25%, Cinsault : 15%. Only white and sparkling wines from Marsanne and Roussanne in this AOC! [6] Other nearby AOC regions including Côtes du Vivarais AOC, Grignan-Les Adhemar AOC, Lirac AOC, Tavel AOC, Vacqueyras AOC, and Ventoux AOC may contain even more varieties in the blend. The soils are varied with the most famous being the large, rolled river stone or “Galets’ left behind millennium ago by the ancient glaciers. Côtes du Rhône AOC is an AOC that covers both the northern and southern sub-regions of Rhône. Official Rhône wine trade association website, "Cairanne promoted to Côtes du Rhône cru - Decanter", JORF n°177 du 1 août 2004 page 13753 texte n° 25: Arrêté du 19 juillet 2004 relatif à la composition des comités régionaux vins et eaux-de-vie de l'Institut national des appellations d'origine, AOC regulations for Condrieu, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Château-Grillet, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Cornas, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Côte-Rôtie, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Hermitage, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Crozes-Hermitage, version 29 October 2009, AOC regulations for Saint-Joseph, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Saint-Péray, version 28 October 2009, AOC regulations for Côtes du Rhône, version 14 October 2009, AOC regulations for Côtes du Rhône, version 23 October 2009, AOC regulations for Beaumes de Venise, version 23 October 2009, AOC regulations for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, version 20 October 2009, AOC regulations for Gigondas, version 23 October 2009, AOC regulations for Lirac, version 14 October 2009, AOC regulations for Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, version 13 October 2009, AOC regulations for Rasteau, version 13 October 2009, AOC regulations for Tavel, version 20 October 2009, AOC regulations for Vacqueyras, version 14 October 2009, Les Vins des Côtes du Rhône - Côtes du Rhône official site, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Rhône_wine&oldid=998671675, France articles missing geocoordinate data, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 14:00. Therefore, almost all Côtes du Rhône AOC is produced in southern Rhône, since the northern sub-region is covered by well-known appellations and also is much smaller in terms of total vineyard surface. Depending on the specific AOC rules, grapes blended into southern Rhône reds may include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. The wines are Grenache dominant with aromas of small red fruits and violets that age into licorice, pepper and spice. [9] Local producers of Côtes du Rhône-styled wines made from Syrah and Grenache lobbied for this change since the local winemaking traditions did not coincide with administrative borders, and presumably due to the greater prestige of Rhône wines in the marketplace. Wine map of the Southern Rhône – click for a larger view. Higher altitudes and variety of soil types result in red wines that are dark and inky with black cherry, jammy fruit and lots of tannin. In no particular order: These 17 distinctive crus of the Rhône Valley – 8 in the north and 9 in the south – truly express their individual “terroir” and are responsible for about 20% of the Rhône wine production. With its hot climate, abundant sunshine and the Dentelle Mountains to protect vineyards from the Mistral, the predominately red wines from Gigondas are full, earthy and aromatic. Southern Rhone Complete Guide to the best Wines Wineries Appellations. Includes: Map Print, care notes, and satisfaction guarantee. Find ratings for recent vintages in France’s Southern Rhône, summing up the quality and character of the reds and whites, including Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and more. You may have heard of the Rhone Valley in France; however, if you’re thinking of this as one place serving similar wines you’d be very mistaken. The most famous of the AOC’s of the Rhône Valley is Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Viognier by itself is used for white wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Their rosé is a classic southern Rhône blend of 65% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 5% Cinsault and it spent a very short time in oak barrels to add complexity. [1] However, extensive DNA typing and viticultural research has established beyond doubt that Syrah originated in the Rhône region itself. The wines of the Rhône Valley are divided into four levels: Discover the wines and regions of France's Rhône Valley wine region. Inter Rhône: Committee for the promotion of the technology, economy, communication and marketing of Rhône Wine (2005). This is the region of France's most user-friendly wines, and, with Bordeaux, an important source of appellation contrôlée wine. Named after the Latin for “Valley of the Rocks”, the Vacqueryras lie next to Gigondas. Probably the most striking feature is the steepness of the hillsides. The grape, which is believed to have originated in or close to the Rhône region, is also widely known as Shiraz, its name in Australia and much of the English-speaking world, and has recently become very popular with consumers around the world. Robinson, Jancis (2006). Châteauneuf-du-Pape means “The Pope’s New Crib” The Catholic Church was the next main influence when Pope Clement V moved his headquarters from Rome to Avignon in 1309. In 2004, Costières de Nîmes AOC, which previously had been counted as part of eastern Languedoc, was also attached to the Rhône wine region. Red wines are the most plentiful; Grenache and Cinsault with Mourvedre, Syrah and other sanctioned reds, producing wines that are full and aromatic with spicy dark fruits balanced with acidity and minerality. Such changes of borders between wine regions are very rare. Marsanne and Roussanne are in turn used for the whites from Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint Joseph, and Saint Péray. [3] Many private wineries also produce wines including sparkling wines and fortified wines, single varietals - particularly from the Syrah grape - and even brandies. This is another ancient region, settled by the Greeks and home to the famous sweet wine “Muscat de Beaumes de Venise”. In 1650, to guard against forgeries a set of rules was passed in an attempt to guarantee the origin of the wine. The northern Rhône is characterised by a continental climate with harsh winters but warm summers. Fortified wines (vin doux naturel) are made in the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise AOC and Rasteau AOCs. and be made from the 21 sanctioned grape varieties. In 1446 the city of Dijon forbade all wines from Lyon, Tournon and Vienne, arguing that they were "très petits et pauvres vins" – very small and miserable wines. The whites are harder to find and were once the favorite of the Russian nobility. Gigondas. Again, not the least expensive of wines but something to savor – heady apricot, floral notes and a rich honeyed mouthfeel. Tavel AOC, produced in the special microclimate of the sillon rhodanien (the furrow of the Rhône) by some thirty producers including Château d'Aqueria, Domaine Maby, Domaine de la Mordorée, Domaine Pelaquier, is an elite rosé only, which has been referred to as 'the wine of kings". The region's major appellation in production volume is Côtes du Rhône AOC. No white wines carry the Gigondas appellation. The biggest area in terms of production, Crozes-Hermitage often lies in the shadow of the famous ‘Hermitage’ AOC that it surrounds. If Syrah is the big boy of the North, Grenache is the King in the South and forms the foundation of the area’s popular blends. Full bodied reds dominate, but the luscious whites and thirst quenching roses are well worth seeking out. Most are red blends based on Grenache or Syrah and the vineyards are planted on a variety of different soils. Gigondas is a French wine Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) in the southern Rhône wine region of France.It is primarily a red wine region, with a very small amount of rosé wine produced. Another unique characteristic of these wines are the nuances of Garrigue – the wild resinous herbs that cover the landscape. Over 100 million gallons of wine are produced in the region annually, from easy-drinking value wines from Côtes-du-Rhône to the complex luxury wines of appellations like Châte… Condrieu (Con-dree-euh) and the tiny vineyards of Château Grillet are best known for the luscious wines of Viognier. A beautiful map to guide you to your next bottle of French wine. Find out more about me. Most of the production is in sparkling wine; Crement de Die, but is now sanctioned for still wines of red, white and rose. This is the birthplace of Syrah and where many wine lovers find it reaches its height of expression – full bodied, savory, and elegant. They speak of the warm southern climate – honeysuckle, stone fruits and melon, backed with refreshing minerality. The Rhône Valley has been a hub of wine culture since ancient times and is just as popular today. https://winefolly.com/deep-dive/cotes-du-rhone-wine-with-maps Well made. Excess wines of the lowest quality, Vin de Table, occasionally become part of the wine lake and are reprocessed into industrial alcohol. The Mistral is more than just a cold fierce wind that blows from the Northern seas, it’s an important part of the culture of southern France and Provence. The largest of the Northern AOC’s, St. Joseph is home to Syrah and the white varietals Roussanne and Marsanne. Map of the Rhône Valley wine region in France. Wine has been made here for over 2,600 years, making it the oldest destination on the French wine regions map – and it is the only region that dedicates almost all of its production to rose. Get the James Beard Award-winning book! Map of Cornas with detail of lieux dits (vineyard names). Southern Rhone Valley. The region is distinctly more ‘Provençal’ with a Mediterranean influence in culture and climate. These are more similar to the wines of Provence. Only reds are produced here, from Grenache and Syrah or Mourvedre. All great wine is made in the vineyard and that starts with the grapes. Since about 1998 Viognier is increasingly being used and is also appearing as a single varietal. In 2005, the region was sanctioned for still red wines from Grenache and Syrah that are full of deep fruits and spice. Although the Rhône is considered one wine region, it can effectively be split into two distinct parts based on climate and grape varieties used. Syrah is the only red grape variety permitted in red AOC wines from this sub-region. Today, the Rhône River begins in the Alps and meanders for 505 miles to the Mediterranean Sea. Quick Links Southern Rhône 2016: Full report | White Southern Rhône – panel tasting results Whites, reds and roses and home of Truffles! and do so about 150 days of the year, mostly from winter to early spring. Ardeche is an IGP title that covers red, white and rosé wines made in the southern French Ardèche department and in 11 communes in the very north of the Gard. Located just south of Lirac, Tavel’s vineyards date back to the Greek era and the 5th Century BC. In 2004 ten new appellations were officially added to the Rhône region, 9 in the Gard and one in the Vaucluse, which largely parallel the wines of Southern Rhône proper, while two appellations were discontinued for reasons of reforesting and urban encroachment.[8]. Northern Rhône is therefore cooler than southern Rhône, which means that the mix of planted grape varieties and wine styles are slightly different. While small, the Northern Rhône includes some of France’s most prestigious appellations. In many appellation regulations, a division is made into main grape varieties (indicated by "M"), supplementary varieties (indicated by "S"), and accessory varieties (indicated by "(A)"). As the Rhône River progresses southward, the valley widens and the climate changes. These may include Ugni blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, and Clairette. Red Côtes du Rhône is usually dominated by Grenache. Tavel is an appellation of the southern Rhône valley, unique in its specialization in dry rosé wines. It runs along the Rhône River from Beaujolais all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, where it intersects with the regions of Provence to the southeast and Languedoc to the southwest. The southern sub-region produces an array of red, white and rosé wines, often blends of several grapes such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. From Lyon to the Camargue region, passing through the regions of Provence and the Luberon, discover the region’s rich history and taste the range of Rhône wines. Famous the world over, the wines from Hermitage come from the small vineyards overlooking the village of Tain-l’Hermitage. Considered a little brother to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the wine is moderately prestigious and can age well when treated with care. The early season, though, meant that heavy rain in May caused extensive coulure for the ever-sensitive Grenache, with … This may be the smallest red AOC in size, but wines from Cornas are big and powerful! In most cases, Northern Rhône appellations allow many fewer varieties than those of Southern Rhône. When the Romans left the areadisappeared so too did interest in the wine of the region. 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