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L'école des vins
Côtes du Vivarais wines are a perfect reflection of their terroir: rugged yet warm-hearted. The vines thrive in the soils of the Plateau des Gras, an area bisected by the spectacular Gorges de l’Ardèche.
The landscape has been shaped for over 15,000 years by underground watercourses, and hides a wealth of subterranean wonders, including caves, chasms and bubbling springs. The Aven d’Orgnac, one of the largest caves in the world, became a Grande Site de France in 2004. In a bid to safeguard these wonderful gifts of nature without compromising quality, the wine-growers of Côtes du Vivarais invite wine lovers to discover their warm, generous wines.
The varietals used in the production of Côtes du Vivarais AOC wines are:
For reds, Grenache and Syrah; for rosés, Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, and for white Clairette, white Grenache and Marsanne.
The appellation’s red wines are characterised by black berry fruit and spicy flavours, fairly robust tannins and a pleasing freshness. Their character comes mainly from the Grenache grape, which provides structure while Syrah adds spices. The different vintages vary in terms of both colour (deep red, purple) and flavour.
Vivarais’ fresh rosés, made from the same grape varieties as the reds, are deep pink in colour and intensely flavoured, due largely to their Grenache content.
Marsanne and white Grenache give the appellation’s whites unexpected freshness and minerality.
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 Vivarais to thrill of pleasure the taste buds of the most greedy.
Vallée du RhôneCôtes du Vivarais
There is evidence that vines grew in the area between the Rhône and the Cévennes more than 2,000 years ago, tended by a Gaulish tribe known as the Helvii; however, viticulture was not developed on a large scale until the Middle Ages.
In the late 16th century, French soil scientist and father of modern agriculture Olivier de Serres, described the wines of Vivarais as “so precious and delicate that there is no reason to look elsewhere”. The varietals grown here at the time were fairly resistant to disease and frost, gave good yields and were cost-effective.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Vivarais winegrowers established their own cooperative winery, where the bulk of the appellation wine is still produced today. In the late 1950s, a small handful of winegrowers challenged themselves to improve quality further still; they replanted their vineyards choosing only noble varieties found to be compatible with the soils. These included Grenache Noir, and Syrah for reds, and white Grenache and Marsanne for whites.
The wines were awarded VDQS appellation status in 1962, and the winegrowers’ talents and persistence were further rewarded in 1999 when Côtes du Vivarais wines were officially granted AOC status.
The Côtes-du-Vivarais AOC vineyards lie on the Plateau des Gras, on either side of the Ardèche gorges at an altitude of 250 metres. The planted area stretches across 14 communes, nine in the Ardèche and five in the Gard.
Largely influenced by the Mediterranean, with a continental tendency. Influenced by the Mistral wind.
Soils are shallow, featuring marl and limestone. Large quantities of stones warm the soil starting in early spring, by absorbing the heat of the sun in the daytime and reflecting it back to the vines at night.
56% red35% rosé9% white
Rendement moyen annuel
Superficie de production
10 872 hl