Rhône Wine Region

A Key French Wine Region

Rhône, which is popularly known as Rhône Valley, is located in the southeastern part of France.

This is considered to be the key wine region of the country because it is producing several types of wines under various appellations.

The Rhône valley has the pride of being one of the most ancient winemaking regions of France with its history of winemaking dating back to as early as the 4th century B.C. Here, the first wine grapes were planted by the ancient Greeks.

Today, this region has almost 71,014 hectares of land under vine cultivation and is producing more than 2.5 million hectoliters of wines each year.

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Aren’t you excited to know more about this region’s viticulture and viniculture? Come on, read on….

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Remember to read the Wine Tasting guide...

Vinicultural Sub-divisions of Rhône

The whole Rhône valley can be divided into two vinicultural sub-divisions as Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône.
It’s not just a simple distinction between these regions that resulted in this division, but we can find a major difference in vinicultural traditions between Northern and Southern Rhône.

Also, we can find a neat gap of 25 miles between these sub-regions where we cannot find any vines at all. This no-vine zone is lying between the towns of Valance and Montelimar.

When it comes to wines, we can find a difference in grape varieties between these sub-regions and hence, the Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône are differing in the quality, as well as the quantity of wines produced.

Apart from these factors, prestige is another important differentiator between these regions.

We can find some older, highly respected wines in Northern parts while southern parts are producing less-prestigious wine range.

Viticulture in Northern Rhône

With the continental climatic conditions, the northern Rhône is found to be cooler than the southern parts. This region is relatively smaller than the Southern Rhône but is found to be more quality-driven.

We can see that the wines from this part of Rhône are accounting just for 5% of the total wines from the entire valley.

The harsh winters and warm summers in this region are favoring the cultivation of the following grape varieties:

Syrah
Viognier
Marsanne
Roussanne

Yes, Syrah is the only red variety of the sub-region! In general, the reds of this sub-region are identified by the exclusive aromas of green olive and smoky bacon.

Aren’t you interested to know the AOCs of Northern Rhône? Here is the list for you:

• Côte-Rôtie
• Condrieu
• Château-Grillet
• Saint-Joseph
• Crozes-Hermitage
• Hermitage
• Cornas
• Saint-Péray

The highly accorded wines names of this sub-region are Hermitage and Cote Rotie.

Wines from Rhône

More wines from Rhône at page 2

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Breweries

Viticulture in Southern Rhône

With the Mediterranean climatic conditions, the southern Rhône is found to be experiencing mild winters and hot summers.

The sub-region is found to have a wide variety of terroirs which, along with the rugged landscape is found to be the core reason for the diversity of wines here.

This sub-region, which accounts for almost 95% of the total wine production of Rhône valley, is supporting the growth of a wide range of grape varieties with Grenache being the most important variety.

The other major varieties include the following:

Reds:

Whites:

Find the list of southern Rhône AOCs here:

  • Côtes du Vivarais
  • Côtes du Rhône
  • Côtes du Rhône Villages
  • Côtes du Rhône Villages (named villages)
  • Coteaux du Tricastin
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Vacqueyras
  • Rasteau
  • Cairanne
  • Gigondas
  • Vinsobres
  • Lirac
  • Beaumes de Venise
  • Muscat de Beaumes de Venise
  • Tavel

Of these, Côtes du Rhône AOC is found to be the largest with more than 83,800 hectares under vine cultivation.

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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