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Visan became a Papal possession in 1344, and has held a rather unique position ever since – it is effectively and enclave, a small piece of Vaucluse surrounded by Drôme Provençale; the Enclave of the Popes.

This is the realm of the Aleppo pine, of lavender and truffles – and of course, the vine. Visan was officially awarded Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan status in 1966.

Surrounding the village on all sides, the vineyards cover a good half of the commune. They scramble up the hillsides to reach the best-exposed locations, and descend the gentle slopes right down to the plain, painting a delightful picture. Visitors come as much to enjoy the rural peace and quiet as to discover the local vintages. The vineyards grow in the pebbly marl and sandy soils of this northern Rhône terroir, planted mostly to Grenache and Syrah which blend with other authorised varietals (including Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Carignan) to give red wines with superb elegance and finesse. These show aromas of spiced red berry fruit with minerality on the palate, expressing good personality. Although most of the wines produced are red, there is still some space over for rosés and whites. The rosés are floral and fruity in flavour, and fresh-tasting with peppery notes. Whites are redolent of citrus, peach and apricot, both on nose and palate – deli- cate, yet beautifully smooth.

Visan

History

1966
1966

Birth of AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan

Evidence of life in Gallo-Roman times has been found at Visan, demonstrating that the area was already occupied during that period. Vines were first planted by Emperor Probus and his men in the third century.

Visan had its own communal grape-press as early as 1250. Having once belonged to the Knights Templar, Visan became Papal territory in 1344.

The Confrérie des Vignerons de Visan was the first winegrowers’ guild in the region, and one of the first in France. It was established in 1475 and remained active until 1792, then revived many years later in 1978 to coincide with Visan’s first Wine Festival. During their summer session, Confrérie members process to the church of Notre-Dame-des-Vignes for the blessing of a vine stock which is then solemnly burned on Place Marot, while locals dance the “Souco,” a local dance whose name derives from the Provençal word for vine. In 1966, Visan was awarded Côtes du Rhône Villages Visan status.

Geography

Territory

The vineyards are located in the commune of Visan in the Vaucluse département.

Climate

Mediterranean climate, heavily influenced by the Mistral wind.

Soils

A particular geology

Pebbles, with marl and sand.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

93% red
3% rosé
4% white

Colors

32 hl/ha

Average annual yield

594 ha

Production surface area

18 750 hl

Total production

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Rhone wines derive their style, richness and originality from the diversity of the region's grape varieties. Learn all about them…

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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.