The Rhône Valley vineyard has 79,045 hectares of surface area where different grape varieties are planted. This makes it second only to the Bordeaux region in terms of AOC wine production in France. For centuries, grape growing has held an important place here.
The vineyards of the Rhône Valley in a few words
The vineyards of the Rhone Valley are spread over 6 departments. Its borders are located on the lands of the Rhône, the Loire, the Gard, the Vaucluse, the Ardèche and the Drôme. It extends over 1,317 communes.
The Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) of this region are divided in two. You will find the appellations of the northern Rhône valley and those of the southern Rhône valley. They are obtained thanks to black (grenache, mourvèdre) and white (white grenache, clairette, marsanne...) grape varieties.
You will see among others secondary black grape varieties such as black grenache or picpoul. But also secondary white grape varieties such as ugni blanc and picpoul blanc.
This vineyard produces a large quantity of reds (60%). It also produces white wine (31%), but very few rosés (only 9%). In addition, the region is known for its sparkling products (champagnes, sparkling wines and crémants), as well as its natural sweet wines.
The wine routes to discover the Rhône Valley
Discover the numerous AOCs of the Rhône Valley thanks to the wine routes. Its northern part is located between Vienne and Valence. The southern part starts in Montélimar and ends in Avignon.
The roads of the Côtes-du-rhône-villages extend over 60 kilometres. If you take them, you will pass through Suze-la-Rousse or Saint-Pantaléon-les-vignes. You will find the great appellations of the region on an 87-kilometre route. This includes AOCs of natural sweet wines, as well as 5 grands crus (Gigondas, Tavel, Lirac...). Numerous surprises and many estates await you.
To welcome wine tourists every year, the winegrowers of the Rhône Valley have signed a charter. This charter defines the services of the wineries to be visited. The cellars thus offer a meticulous welcome.
The wineries also offer an excellent welcome, including contacts with other wineries or reservations in various establishments (restaurants, hotels).
Some places to visit wineries in the Rhône wine region
Would you like to organise a wine tasting of wines from the Rhône wine region? Here are some addresses to know.
Domaine Rocher des Dames
It is in the commune of Gigondas that you will find this 10-hectare vineyard. Four generations of Bernard's have worked here to create a special terroir that produces AOC Beaume de Venise drinks.
You can spend the night on the estate. For this, the owners provide you with a comfortable guest room fitted out in a barrel. And of course, you will be entitled to a wine tasting of wines from the Rhone wine region.
The estate of Mas Caron
If you pass through the commune of Caromb, make a stop here. Very recent, it was created in 2015. This vineyard is managed by Marc Boulon. The latter was a sales manager in the sale of software before devoting himself to the cultivation of grapes. Very quickly, the estate has grown and its owner now wishes to diversify production.
During your visit, take a tour of this winery in the Rhone Valley region. You can also take a walk around the estate to learn more about the work of the winegrowers.
The Rhone Valley is one of the essential stages of the Rhone Valley wine route.