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The Crozes-Hermitage vineyards lie on the 45th parallel, on the left bank of the Rhône. This is the largest northern appellations extending across 11 communes in the Drôme. The prestigious wines of Crozes-Hermitage are available in red (made from Syrah) and white (made from Roussanne and Marsanne). Crozes-Hermitage reds are elegant, well-balanced, easy-drinking wines.

Crozes-Hermitage

History

1952
1952

Birth of AOC Crozes-Hermitage

Between 1769 and 1780, the land from the Vienne vineyards on the left bank was broken up into a number of large vineyards in Gervans, Erôme and Crozes adjoining those on Hermitage Hill, along with La Chapelle and Muret, and one further vineyard on the higher slopes of Mercurol. The central and southern parts of the appellation had long been planted with orchards, while the northern areas grew wild. The Crozes-Hermitage appellation was created in 1937. At the time it was restricted to just the village of the same name, due largely to the good reputation of the vineyards in the Hermitage AOC. It was not until 1952 that the 10 surrounding communes were officially included in the appellation. When the appellation was extended, the vineyards in these areas began to expand and develop.

Geography

Territory

The vineyards encompass 11 communes in the Drôme on the left bank of the Rhône, to the north, south and east of the village of Tain-l’Hermitage.

Climate

The Crozes-Hermitage vineyards span a wide area, and are subject to two influencing factors.

In the north, the climate is largely temperate with an almost constant wind drying the air along the Rhône corridor. In summer it brings cool temperatures, while in winter it can be bitingly cold. When blowing from the south, it can often be followed by storms.

The Mediterranean influence is also apparent in the high levels of sunshine (around 2,400 hours per year) coupled with hot, dry summers. Winters are cold, but not excessively so; a semi-continental type climate. Rainfall is moderate, with most occurring at the end of summer, called the Cevenol effect.

Soils

A particular geology

The vineyards are vast, incorporating a fairly wide variety of soils. The most significant area, to the south and east of Tain-l’Hermitage, is made up of thick strata of rounded pebbles stemming from several different ice ages, mixed with red clay forming a relatively flat landscape of plateaus and terraces (Les Chassis, Les Sept Chemins etc). To the north west, we find some fairly steep hillsides, and towards Larnage and Crozes-Hermitage, a stony terrace with loess or kaolinitic black sand. The areas to the north (Erôme, Serves and Gervans) lie on granite soils also covered with loess.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

90%
10% white

Colors

43 hl/ha

Average annual yield

1 768 ha

Production surface area

75 918 hl

Total production

20%

Exportation

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