Vignobles de la vallée du Rhône

AOC Côtes du Rhône

Follow the river!


Along the length of its winding waters and gentle banks, the Côtes du Rhône vineyards flourish across 172 communes with their variety of rich, varied terroirs, all bathed by the same bountiful sun. Take the time to stop and explore; you’ll be astounded by their variety and distinctive characters. And they include some hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.


The winegrowers of AOC Côtes du Rhône have one objective: to make the very best wines they can, from vineyard to bottle.
Its red wines are rich, generous and pleasing with spicy overtones.

AOC Côtes du Rhône

Informations

Climate: Mediterranean influenced by Mistral wind

Soils: Sandy / Limestone / Clay / Rocky

Website appellation: https://www.cotesdurhone.com/

Key figures

Production surface area in 2023: 29 005 HA

Total production in 2023: 1 077 471 HL

Average annual yeld: 37 HL/HA

Export: 34%

Recognition in AOC by the I.N.A.O. : 1937

Commune: produced in 172 communes

Grape varieties

Main grape varieties

  • Bourboulenc,
  • Clairette,
  • Grenache blanc,
  • Grenache noir,
  • Marsanne,
  • Mourvèdre,
  • Roussanne,
  • Syrah,
  • Viognier

Secondary grape varieties

  • Bourboulenc, 
  • Brun argenté (locally known as Camarèse or Vaccarèse), 
  • Caladoc, 
  • Carignan, 
  • Cinsault, 
  • Clairette, 
  • Clairette rose, 
  • Counoise, 
  • Couston, 
  • Grenache blanc, 
  • Grenache gris, 
  • Marsanne, 
  • Marselan, 
  • Muscardin, 
  • Piquepoul blanc,  
  • Piquepoul noir, 
  • Roussanne, 
  • Terret noir, 
  • Ugni blanc, 
  • Viognier

To know

History

The Rhône Valley has always been a convenient link between the Mediterranean and Northern or Atlantic Europe. Significant archaeological finds, along with historical studies, have established that the Côtes du Rhône was one of the world’s first winegrowing regions. As early as 125 BC, the Romans founded the town and vineyards of Vienne, planting vines and building walls to protect the terraces. They made it into one of the most attractive areas in this part of Gaul. In the
Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, wine production here was detailed in various written documents, and certainly by the 17th and 18th century, winemaking in the Rhône Valley was thriving.
In 1650, regulations were introduced to ensure that the wine was authentic, and to safeguard its quality. Later, in 1737, a royal decree stipulated that all barrels destined for sale or transport must be branded with the letters “C.D.R”. The area’s fame increased further still and was formalised in 1937, when it became the AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) Côtes du Rhône.

Climate

The climate here is Mediterranean, refreshed by the cleansing Mistral wind. Summers are hot and dry, with sometimes violent storms. Rainfall is low, and snow is rare.

Soils

The Côtes du Rhône appellation features five main soil types: rocky clay soils, pebbles and stony deposits (on hills and slopes) provide nutrients and a regular water supply. At night, they also release the heat stored by the stones during the day. These conditions are particularly well suited to producing wines with good ageing potential.
Loess and sandy soils provide a less uniform water supply. They are better suited to making red and rosé wines and some lighter reds.

Geography

The appellation vineyards stretch from Vienne to Avignon.
The Côtes du Rhône appellation includes 172 communes across six départements (Ardèche, Drôme, Gard, Loire, Rhône and Vaucluse), covering an area of around 30,000 hectares.

Varieties and flavours

The appellation allows the use of 23 grapes varieties. In red wines Grenache noir, the main variety, brings fruit flavours, warmth and body. Syrah and Mourvèdre give the wines their spicy flavours, good colour and firm structure, perfect for ageing.
Red and rosé wines must be a blend of at least 2 of the main grape varieties (Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre). They are supplemented by «accessory» varieties, which can make up to 40% of the blend. Grenache must always be part of the blend, with the exception of wines produced in the northern part of the vineyards, which can be varietal wines. 

For white wines, the main varieties are Bourboulenc, Clairette, Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. These different varieties, when blended, give balance, freshness and complexity of flavours to the wines.

Inter Rhône

Veuillez entrer votre année de naissance.


 

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