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Produced in the southern part of the Ardèche, in a bucolic setting where vines grow peaceably alongside olive trees and holm oak,

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.

Côtes du Vivarais

History

1999
1999

Birth of AOC Côtes 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.

Geography

Territory

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.

Climate

Largely influenced by the Mediterranean, with a continental tendency. Influenced by the Mistral wind.

Soils

A particular geology

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.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

56% red
35% rosé
9% white

Colors

38 hl/ha

Average annual yield

284 ha

Production surface area

10 872 hl

Total production

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Find out about the Rhone vineyards : terroirs, soils, climate, grape varieties and, of course, flavours… as if you were visiting in person.