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L'école des vins
Along the length of its winding waters and gentle banks, the Côtes du Rhône vineyards flourish across 171 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. It’s a wine that is rich, generous and pleasing with spicy overtones.
In all, 21 varietals are authorised for use by the appellation.
In red wines Grenache, the principal variety, brings fruit flavours, warmth and body. Syrah and Mourvèdre give the wines their spicy flavours, good colour and firm structure, perfect for ageing.
In reds and rosés, Grenache must make up at least 30% of the blend (Syrah wines made in the northern part of the appellation are exempt), and the Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre mix must constitute at least 70% of the total blend. The addition of Cinsault gives the wine finesse, and is perfect for producing light, fruit-forward young wines and rosés.
In white wines 80 % of the blend must be made up of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier. These different varietals, when blended, give wines with good flavour and freshness.
Discover the best food and wine pairing in the Rhône Valley. Specialties of the local gastronomy sublimated by wines of the region like Côtes du Rhône to thrill of pleasure the taste buds of the most greedy.
Côtes du RhôneCôtes du Rhône
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.
The appellation vineyards stretch from Vienne to Avignon. The Côtes du Rhône appellation includes 171 communes across six départements: Ardèche, Drôme, Gard, Loire, Rhône and Vaucluse), covering an area of around 30,000 hectares.
The climate here is Mediterranean, refreshed by the cleansing Mistral wind wind. Summers are hot and dry, with sometimes violent storms. Rainfall is low, and snow is rare.
The Cotes du Rhône Regional appellation features five main soil types:
84% red10 rosé6% white
Rendement moyen annuel
30 749 ha
Superficie de production
1 280 240 hl