Côtes du Rhône vineyards are located on the banks of the Rhône River. The soil and the geographical conditions are very heterogeneous in the northern and southern parts of the region therefore the valley is divided in two parts – Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. Vines in Northern Rhône are mainly grown on so-called “terraces” – steep granite and slate slopes. Winemakers are often not very fond of the harsh mistral wind because of its low temperature. The unusual climate causes the vines to produce small yields, but at the same time provides an intense flavour that has given the wines of Northern Rhône worldwide fame. Syrah is the mainly used grape for red wines – it produces deep wines with hints of pepper that are suitable for long ageing. Viognier is the queen of white wines, but Marsanne and Rousanne are also always close by. Some appellations allow white grapes to be added to red wines in order to smoothen the roughness of Syrah and enrich the wines with floral aromas. The landscapes of Southern Rhône are very different from the northern part – the vineyards are located along the river on low hills and plains and the weather is much friendlier. The grapes ripen in the hot summer sun and obtain a high sugar level resulting in rich and mouth-filling wines. The main grape used is Grenache, but 12 other varieties are allowed in the region – interestingly some wines even combine all of them.
From this region