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Rasteau’s sweet, fortified wines (Vins Doux Naturels) are quite extraordinary,

made from 50 - 80-year-old Grenache Noir vines grown in stony soils in south-facing vineyards.

The vines conserve their strength by producing no more than one bottle of wine per plant.

Grapes are harvested by hand and alcohol is added to the fermenting musts to stop fermentation and give two styles of Vin Doux Naturel.

Rasteau Doré is made in the same way as a rosé, by the saignée method, and shows a mellow amber colour with aromas of dried fruit and nuts, apricot and honey. It will keep well for up to eight years. For Rasteau red VDN, the grapes are crushed and macerated in tanks.

The resulting wine develops aromas of cooked prunes and warm spices, mellowing over time into a “rancio” madeirised wine. It can be aged for up to ten years, and will de- velop nutty, fruity aromas alongside scents of roasted coffee.

Such rare, rich wines, so skilfully crafted, de- serve to be better known.

Natural sweet wine Rasteau

History

1944
1944

Birth of AOC Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel

Rasteau winemakers first tried their hand at making a Vin Doux Naturel in 1934. Results were encouraging. At the time, the vineyards shared their space with olive groves and orchards. The hillsides of Rasteau faced south, promoting over-ripeness in the grapes which made traditional vinification difficult.

In 1944, Rasteau Vin Doux Naturel was officially awarded AOC status.

Geography

Territory

The vineyards grow mainly in the commune of Rasteau, with only around 20 parcels in Cairanne and Sablet.

Climate

Mediterranean type climate; south-facing slopes with a little protection from the Mistral wind.

Soils

A particular geology

The soils are similar to those in the Côtes du Rhône Rasteau Appellation: calcareous brown soils, sparse soils over marl, and red soils on sandstone. The pre- dominantly south facing hillsides and stony soils which release heat to the vines at night allow the grapes to reach an extreme point of ripeness.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

42% red
44% rosé
14% white

Colors

27 hl/ha

Average annual yield

6 ha

Production surface area

162 hl

Total production

13%

Exportation

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