The northern Rhone is primarily the land of Syrah. The white wines are made from Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne. Here, the Rhone Valley narrows, forming steep terraces on which the vines grow. Cooled by the harsh mistral wind, this region has a continental climate. The major Syrah appellations are, roughly from north to south, Cote-Rotie, Condrieu (Viognier), Chateau-Grillet (Viognier; monopole), Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and Cornas. Saint-Peray is a bit of an oddball here, producing white sparkling wines from Marsanne and Roussanne.
The southern Rhone has a milder climate that moves seamlessly into the Mediterranean climate of Provence. The red wines are made from Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsaut, and Mourvedre. The major appellations are Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Lirac, Vacqueyras, Costieres de Nimes, and Tavel. The last of these produces only rose wine. The whites Read more »
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