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The Cornas vineyards grow on the right bank of the Rhône, on the eastern slopes of the Massif Central.

The steep, East Southeast-facing slopes form a natural amphitheatre, protecting the vines from cold winds. Syrah is the appellation’s only authorised grape variety, expressing its full strength and power in this terroir.

Cornas

History

1938
1938

Birth of AOC Cornas

The Cornas vineyards date back to ancient times. The terraced plantings and earliest-known “chaillées” (dry stone walls) supporting them were, in all likelihood, the work of the Romans. The first written evidence of vineyards in the area dates back to the 10th century, when the Canon of Viviers mentioned in his writings that the church in Cornas was “surrounded by vines”. Further documents dating from 1763 mention the “powerful wines” produced in the village. Cornas was awarded appellation status in 1938.

Geography

Territory

The appellation area lies on steep slopes facing east and south-east, at altitudes of 125 to 400 m. It is limited to this one village on the right bank of the Rhône in the Ardèche département, 7km from Valence and 12 km from Tournon. The area is bordered by Saint Joseph to the north and St Peray to the south.

Climate

The climate is very influenced by the Mediterranean.

Soils

A particular geology

The terroir comprises a semicircle of hills facing south and south-east, protecting the vineyard from the Mistral wind wind and therefore excessive changes in temperature. The vineyards are planted on craggy slopes cut into narrow, unstable terraces, known locally as “chaillées”. The soil is chiefly decomposed granite, giving sandy clay soils known as “gores,” between two limestone faults (Rocher de Crussol and Rocher de Rochepertuis). In addition to these gores, the terroir features deposits of silt, except in the north where limestone soils dominate.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

100% red

Colors

33 hl/ha

Average annual yield

150 ha

Production surface area

4 918 hl

Total production

33%

Exportation

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