If you love wine, then it really is essential that you dive into the glorious place that is called the Rhône Valley.
With an enthusiastic spirit, bring your curiosity and a thirsty palate, because you certainly won’t be disappointed in what you taste and discover. Located in the southern part of France, where the sun shines down prominently, the Rhône Valley region has been producing wines since 600BC and is the epi-centre for red wine lovers. Producing white, rosé and red wines, the region is formed through its complex geology, which includes Jurassic, cretaceous, and metaphoric rock (just to name a few) and the infamous rich and powerful Rhône River keeps a cool breeze rolling through the air. Summers are hot and dry and the area is prone to subtropical anti-cyclones and sometimes violent storms. Winters are mild, and precipitation (rain and snow) is low. The mistral wind helps keep the vineyards cool in the heat of summer. The grapes are old, the wine is divine, and if you get the chance to go for a trip you won’t ever forget it.
The story goes, that the Romans brought their wine grapes to the Rhône Valley. Dying to share wine with the world, they planted various grapes in granite, gravel, limestone, clay and sand, on various elevations. Split into the north and south regions of the Rhône Valley spreads across 25Okm, with 8600 acres of vines, this special area is one of the most ancient wine-growing regions in the world. If you’re looking for premium taste, unparalleled quality, and great value wines, this is the perfect region for you to have a wild wine adventure.
White wines are mysterious and wonderful, and many of them sound like the name of an elegant French woman. Look out for grapes named Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette and Viognier (just to name a few). Their taste is as special as their names. Distinguished and refined, the majority of these fine wines are unknown to most of us, but hold true personality and defined profiles. They are fun to get to know, offer your palate freshness and floral aromas leaving your palate superbly satisfied.
Home to so many wonderful grapes, wines, and people, we must also remember the region is home to Tavel. Located in the southern part of the Rhône Valley, Tavel is home to the first great pink wine ever produced. Tavel is where the heartbeat of French Rosé resides. Even though Provence has taken the pink wine world by storm, offering consumers a soft pink colour and dry taste, Tavel is a region where French pink wine first began. The region was producing pink wines before they were ever really even a popular trend. Tavel wines are also less pink and more coral in colour. These wines have tannin and structure and offer more of a fuller-bodied taste profile, making them uber delicious. I also really love the rosé wines from Ventoux, so if you’re looking for one more pink option to add to your wine lists – grab a few bottles from these regions.
You’ll find your fair share of truly wonderful red wines as well. Although it may be hard to understand the grapes in the bottle, as labels state the regions and areas rather than the grapes, you’ll discover big and bold red grapes by the name of Grenache, Syrah, Mouvèdre, and Cinsault. Considering the Rhône Valley has been making wine for over 2,000 years, it carries with it families who have been making wine for many generations. From distinct village Crus wines like Vacqueyras, and Gigondas (a little hard to say, but beautiful to drink!) to the gorgeous blends from anything from Côtes-Rôtie to Costières de Nîmes. You’re bound to find a wonderful bottle of something delicious and delightful. From Syrah to Grenache Rouge – you’re going to fall in love with full-bodied wines from this region.
If you love grapes with multiple personalities, look out for Grenache from the Rhône Valley, which comes as “Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Grenache Rouge”. She can be placed into a red or white wine blend, can be rosé and is the adoring grape of the region, placed into the majority of the bottles you drink.
No matter what you like in your glass, The Rhône Valley has something perfect for your taste. If you’re looking for an easy way to start dating this region, look out for the prevalent “Côtes du Rhône” labelling and start to experiment, you’ll soon find out that wines from The Rhone Valley will make you swoon and salivate.
Here are a few I’d recommend:
- La Vieille Ferme Rose Ventoux AOC $12.45
- Chapoutier Belleruche CdRhone White Grenache Blanc AOC $16.95
- La Chasse Grande Reserve Vacqueyras Aop Grenache $20
- Louis Bernard CdRhone AOC Grenache/Syrah $14.45
- Vidal-Fleury Saint-Joseph 2015 Shiraz/Syrah $41.25
- Chateau Manissy Le Moulin TAVEL Provence AOC $16.90