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Dotted along the banks of the Rhône River, amid sprawling vineyards and breathtaking landscapes, the Rhône Valley stands as a testament to the art of winemaking.

This region produces an extensive array of wines, spanning from enchanting whites to crisp rosés and supple reds. Situated in the Southeast of France, the Rhône Valley owes its unique terroir to millions of years of volcanic and tectonic activity.

Over time, this valley was squeezed between the Massif Central and the Alps, fostering a dynamic range of soils, including clay, limestone, granite, sand, and stones.

Stretching over 200 kilometers from Vienne in the North to Avignon in the South, this wine-producing region has a rich history and a split personality, comprising the Northern and Southern Rhône.


- History -

 In the Rhône Valley, viticulture traces back to the first century AD when the Romans, voyaging up the Rhône, founded the town of Vienne and planted vineyards renowned for their wines.

This endeavour involved arduous labor, including double digging, vine planting, and the construction of terraces. The results were a flourishing wine trade. Fast-forwarding to the 13th century, French King Louis VIII granted the Comtat Venaissin to Pope Gregory X. In the 14th century, the papacy relocated from Rome to Avignon. The popes, enamoured with the local wines, planted extensive vineyards, funding the acclaimed Châteauneuf-du-Pape, also known as "The New Castle of the Pope."


- Northern VS Southern Rhône -
The Rhône Valley is the 2nd largest winegrowing region in France is split into Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône.

- Northern Rhône -

The Northern Rhône contributes a smaller portion to the overall production of the region but is home to some of the world's most acclaimed and recognized fine wines. Its continental climate begets wines known for elegance and freshness, defined by steep slopes bordering valleys carved into the granite-rich subsoils. Syrah reigns supreme here, although Viognier is the exclusive white grape cultivated. Here some of the wines to look for:

An appellation in the Northern Rhône, produces exceptional white wines exclusively from Viognier. These wines are the benchmark for Viognier, known for their approachability when young, yet many have the capacity to age gracefully.

Nestled in the flatter lands surrounding the famed Hermitage, produces both red and white wines. While these wines may not reach the pinnacle of the Northern Rhône's finest, they serve as accessible, well-priced alternatives to their more prestigious counterparts.

The vineyards on the 'roasted slope' boast steep slopes and rocky soils, yielding some of the region's most prestigious wines. Here, it's common to co-ferment Syrah with a small percentage of Viognier, creating wines with vibrancy and an extra dimension. This technique has gained appreciation and is now embraced by many producers in Australia and other New World wine regions.

The famous hill of Hermitage (known historically as Ermitage) rises imposingly over the town of Tain l’Hermitage The wines, both red (Syrah) and white (Marsanne and Roussane), are amongst the finest produced in France.


- Southern Rhône - 

In the Southern Rhône, a remarkable 95% of the total wine production takes place. This region enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny summers and mild winters, coupled with consistent rainfall throughout the year, ensuring an optimal level of ripeness in the grapes. Additionally, due to its relatively low elevation, the Southern Rhône benefits from the Mistral winds, which travel through the valley, imparting a sense of freshness and acidity to the wines. The Southern Rhône permits the cultivation of a diverse array of 13 grape varieties, with the principal red varieties being Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. For white wines, the spotlight shines on Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne.

With majority wines being labelled Côtes du Rhône a classification system is in assistance to allow consumer disguise the quality of the wine produces:

Côtes du Rhône AOC:
Entry-level wines in this region are often blends sourced from various areas within the appellation. They are typically the most affordable and represent excellent value within the region.

Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC:
Covering 74 communes within the Southern Rhône, the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages AOC is distinctive in that it represents a step up in terms of quality and regulations compared to the basic Côtes du Rhône AOC. This distinction includes defined geographical boundaries and stricter quality standards.

Côtes du Rhône Villages + Name AOC:
22 communes, the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages + Name AOC allows these villages to append their names to the appellation. This recognition is granted in acknowledgment of their unique terroir, grape varieties, and winemaking traditions. This, in turn, gives rise to wines with distinct personalities and styles, echoing the essence of each village.

Crus AOC:
The most exceptional terroirs within the region are designated as Crus
, and these have been chosen as the shining beacons of Rhône Valley wine. They exemplify the uniqueness and world-class quality that this region can offer. In total, there are 17 Crus in the Rhône, with 9 of them located in the Southern region. Among these, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Lirac take the lead, showcasing the forefront of this prestigious designation.

The Rhône Valley, a prominent wine-producing region in France, has transitioned its emphasis from sheer yield to quality and environmental stewardship. This transformation began in the 1980s when the region gained acclaim, largely thanks to the influential wine critic Robert Parker, who lauded the quality of Rhône wines. Since then, winemakers have been dedicated to preserving their vineyards and the environment for future generations.

They've made substantial efforts to conserve biodiversity by introducing local flora and fauna into the vineyards, thus fostering a balanced ecosystem. Additionally, the Rhône Valley boasts the second-highest rate of Organic and Biodynamic certification in all of France, signifying a resolute commitment to environmental action.
This dual dedication ensures that the Rhône Valley continues to produce exceptional wines while safeguarding the land and ecosystem for a sustainable and promising future.

Explore our Rhône Valley selection and discover Organic Certified Wine producers: