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Exacting standards.

On the right bank of the Rhône, the Saint-Joseph vineyard is situated on the 45th parallel, and is planted on steep hillside terraces which date from many centuries ago. Saint-Joseph wine was formerly known as Vin de Mauves; its current name was coined by Jesuits in the 17th century. The appellation is known for its red wines, made predominantly from Syrah, which are powerful and elegant, and, on a smaller scale, for whites made from Roussanne and/or Marsanne. Like their terroir, the appellation winegrowers have demanding standards, seeking to produce only the best wine. But although they’re serious, they’re far from humourless; every year the appellation hosts the National Festival of Comedy.




Birth of AOC Saint-Joseph

The vineyards of Saint-Joseph were planted by the Greeks and later maintained by the Romans, who already saw potential in the steep slopes on the right bank of the Rhône.

The A.O.C. takes its name from a vineyard located between Tournon and Mauves. Saint Joseph wines graced the most prestigious tables across Europe and Russia, and even Charlemagne was said to enjoy them immensely. The first written evidence of wine being made here dates back to the 17th century, but its name came from the monks who owned the monastery where the vineyards grew. Later, Mauves wine was mentioned in Hugo’s Les Misérables: “My brother offered him some of that good Mauves wine”. 

In the 20th century, the winemakers formed a union to protect the Saint-Joseph appellation, and in 15th June 1956, the wine was officially recognised as an AOC. The appellation area runs through 26 communes, across 1,300 ha. The vineyards wind their way through Chavanay to Guilherand, connecting Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie in the north with Saint-Péray and Cornas in the south.



From Chavanay in the north to Guilherand in the south, the appellation stretches for around 50km along the right bank of the Rhône. It encompasses 23 communes in the Ardèche and 3 in the Loire.


The climate here is semi-continental, and harvests are relatively late. There are a few variations in soil and sun exposure, but the combination of Mediterranean and continental climates makes the wines of Saint-Joseph distinctive.


A particular geology

The vineyards are planted largely on terraces on fairly steep slopes, a crucial factor for sun exposure and drainage.

The main component of the appellation soils is granite, but other soils are present and have an impact on production. The southern area is made up of tender gneiss and complex, acidic granite.

The diversity of the appellation soils gives the wines their character and provides the three varietals grown here with all the nutrients they need to flourish.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

86% red
14% white


38 hl/ha

Average annual yield

1 382 ha

Production surface area

52 959 hl

Total production



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Inter Rhône - Key Figures 2021

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