Located in southern France, The Rhône wine region (situated in The Rhône Valley) produces numerous wines adhering to various Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designations. The Rhône is divided into two main sub-regions with distinct vinicultural traditions: Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône.
As with many other French wines, wines from The Rhône feature subtle, balanced, and complex flavours teased from the careful blending of the many grape varieties grown in the region. Noteworthy exceptions however include wines which adhere to the Côte-Rôtie and Cornas appellations, both which must consist almost exclusively of Syrah (the only red grape grown in Northern Rhône). Côte-Rôtie can be blended only with white grapes, so to maintain the already full-bodied tones of Syrah. Cornas must be 100% Syrah.
The Southern Rhône sub-region has a more Mediterranean climate, with milder winters and hotter summers as compared with the North. This alternating weather pattern, along with the geological conditions of Southern Rhône, results in a range of ‘microclimates’, giving rise to a wide diversity of grapes. The Southern Rhône’s most famous red wine is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a blend of up to thirteen varieties of grape (as permitted by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC).
For the lover of deep, compound, mosiacs of flavour The Rhône offers much to experience, learn from, and to enjoy.
Photograph by Sylenius via Wikipedia. Used through a Creative Commons licence.