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The Rhône Valley

The Rhône Valley is the number two AOC wine region by surface area and production. From Vienne all the way to Avignon, there are 200 km of vineyard sites, 250 village communes spread over 6 departments/regions, 75,800 hectares and 8000 wine estates, 3.75 million hectolitres, and 480 million bottles.

(opposite: Stephan Chaboud - Saint-Peray)



T. Vallier

T. Vallier

Northern Rhône Valley

(Rhône, Loire and Ardèche departments)

The northern vineyards run from Vienne to Valence, along the Rhône river. From north to south the AOC areas are: côte-rotie, condrieu, château-grillet, saint-joseph, hermitage, crozes-hermitage, cornas, saint-peray. Syrah is the only red grape variety, so e.g. Cornas and Côte-Rotie are 100% Syrah. The main white grapes are viognier, marsanne and roussanne. Condrieu and Château-grillet are 100% viognier.


Southern Rhône Valley

(Ardèche, Drôme, Gard and Vaucluse departments)

The southern vineyards produce blended wines and are planted with a wider variety of grapes than in the north. Red: grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, carignan, cinsault... White: grenache blanc, clairette, bourboulenc, ugni blanc. The climate is more Mediterranean with the Mistral wind and drought in the summer, sparse rainfall in spring and mostly autumn/fall.

The southern AOC areas: Côtes-du-Rhône villages (including the following entitled to put the village name on the label Beaumes-de-Venise, Cairanne, Chusclan, Laudun, Rasteau, Rochegude, Saint-Gervais, Sablet, Séguret, Valréas, Vinsobres, Visan), Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Coteaux du Tricastin, Côtes du Lubéron, Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Ventoux, Gigondas, Lirac, Tavel and Vacqueyras.


Plenty of places of interest for the wine traveller

Jaboulet’s wine museum

Nine Côtes-du-Rhône vineyard touring routes, set up by InterRhône (cross-regional trade body) with growers and wineries who have the ‘Welcome to Côtes du Rhône country’ quality charter.

Cairanne’s tour of the senses

The Papal vineyard, planted on the ‘Rocher (rockface) des Doms’ above the Papal Palace

Winegrowers’ tools museum in Châteauneuf-du-Pape


Interesting and useful websites

InterRhône

Growers’ blogs

http://beaurenard.over-blog.com
http://saintamant.canalblog.com/
http://www.perrin-et-fils.com/francais
http://combedelabelle.viabloga.com
http://harvest2004.typepad.com/

Dynamic producer groups

The Southern Ardèche

In the Ardèche region, which has two AOCs: côtes-du-vivarais and côtes-du-rhône as well as Vins de Pays Côteaux de l'Ardèche, worth seeing: the ‘Maison des Vignerons Ardéchois’ wine tasting shop, Vinimage in Ruoms.

La Nouvelle Ecole de la Vallée du Rhône (New Rhone Valley Wine School)

Which brings together:

Côteaux-du-Tricastin

Costières-de-Nîmes

Côtes-du-Ventoux

Côtes du Lubéron

Benoît France

Benoît France

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