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The village of Rasteau is located on the summit of a hill at an altitude of 200m,

facing south and looking at the Dentelles de Montmirail.

Rasteau’s vineyards are relatively sheltered from the Mistral wind wind, and face south. The lands- cape is undulating and the soils varied, producing dry red wines with a very distinctive character. Rasteau AOC was promoted to Côtes du Rhône Cru status in 2010, a badge of honour both for its wines and for the skills of its winegrowers. Rasteau is also known for its Vin Doux Naturel fortified wines.

Rasteau

History

2010
2010

Birth of AOC Rasteau

Vines were likely growing in Rasteau as early as 30 BC, but the vineyards remained largely forgotten until the Middle Ages, when interest in winegrowing was revived by the ecclesiastical communities   - so much so that by the 18th century, the Rasteau vineyards were the largest in Vaucluse, best known for their Vins Doux Naturels - naturally sweet wines. In 1870, phylloxera ravaged the vineyards, and growers turned to American rootstocks; in 1935, they went back to their roots by once more starting to produce a Vin Doux Naturel. In 1937, the village became part of the Côtes du Rhône AOC; in 1944, a separate AOC was created for Rasteau’s Vins Doux Naturels and in 1966, the dry red wines produced in Rasteau were promoted to Côtes du Rhône Villages status. In 2010, with hard work and determination from the winegrowers, Rasteau dry reds were elevated to a Cru in their own right. Rasteau is now a Cru of the southern Rhône Valley.

Geography

Territory

The AOC vineyards extend across a major part of the village in the Vaucluse département.

Climate

Mediterranean influence; south-facing slopes give some protection from the Mistral wind.

Soils

A particular geology

One of Rasteau many advantages is its varied soils, which give its wines a wonderful richness of flavour, somewhere between elegance and power. There are clay/limestone soils, sparse soils over marl and red soils on sandstone. Rootstocks are chosen to take account of the soil type, so each vine can be grown in the most suitable location. Many parcels are covered in rounded cobbles, carried down from the Alps by the Ouvèze when the glaciers melted over 18 million years ago. These retain heat well, storing it by day and releasing it to the vines at night to produce excellent concentration in the grapes. In summer, the vines must search deeper to find the nutrients they require. They develop strong root systems which helps minimise hydric stress; thus the “poor” Rasteau soils can, in fact, produce extremely high-quality wines.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

100% red

Colors

30 hl/ha

Average annual yield

953 ha

Production surface area

28 746 hl

Total production

29%

Exportation

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