RHONE

The Rhône is separated into two parts, the Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. The two are vastly different. The Northern Rhône is steep and cool while the Southern Rhône is flat and hot.

Northern Rhône stretches from Vienne to Valence and contains the regions of Côte-Rotie, Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage, Cornas, Condrieu, Château Grillet, St.-Joseph & St.-Péray. The red wines are easy to remember – they are all made from Syrah. Whites are typically Viognier, although some Marsanne & Roussanne are used in certain regions.

Southern Rhône is about 60 miles south of the Northern Rhône and there are almost no vineyards in-between. The Southern Rhône area contains the appellations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Tavel, Gigondas, Vacqueras, and the most productive, the Côtes-du-Rhône. While Syrah is the main, and only, player in the North, the South has a slew of red varieties to use. 23 grapes (white and red) in all. Grenache is the primary grape in the blends, followed by Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault

Very diverse wines take most advantage of the weather and winemaking conditions of the Rhone Valley.

The climate in Côtes du Rhône is hot and sunny, more constant than in the other French wine producing regions.

The soil is stony, mainly made of granite.

The main grapes in Côtes du Rhône are Grenache, Syrah and Carignan for red wine, Clairette, Ugni Blanc and Grenache Blanc for white wine. Côtes du Rhône is also famous for the Viognier white wine made in the northern part of the region Condrieu, Chateau Grillet) which is one of the most distinctive in France.

Over 75% of Côtes du Rhône wines are red. They are generally thick, robust and their alcoholic content higher than that of most French wines.

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Côtes du Rhône wine making information :
 

Size of the vineyards:70,000 hectares (170,000 acres)
Vineyards:8 to 10,000 winemakers
Soil:

Granite in the north of the Rhône region
Limestone in the south

Weather:Continental in the north of the Rhône region (cold winter warm summer)
Mediterranean in the south (mild winter hot summer)
Red Grapes
in Rhône:

Grenache 55%
Syrah 15%
Carignan 15%
Mourvèdre

White Grapes
in Rhône:

Clairette 35%
Grenache blanc 20%
Ugni blanc 20%
Bourboulenc
Marsanne
Roussanne
Viognier

Production:

450 million bottles
77% red wine - 8 % rosé - 5 % dry white wine
14% of French wine production

Type of Wine:

Full body red wine (north)
Light to medium body fruity red wine (south)
Dry full body white wine (north)


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