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AOC Côtes du Rhône

The History of Côtes du Rhône

From Roman times to the present day, the Rhone Valley has always been a very popular place for wine lovers. Numerous archaeological excavations have shown that there are many traces of trade, transport and wine production all along the Rhone. These researches also establish that the “Côtes du Rhône” would be one of the first wine regions in the world.

In the Middle Ages, it was the clergy and the papacy who took over much of the wine production and trade in the Comtat Venaissin (except the northern Rhône). They will develop on a large scale the quantity and the quality of the Rhône wines and will also make them famous!

In order to prevent fraud and wine smuggling during its marketing, in 1650 a regulation was issued to protect the authenticity and quality of the wines marketed. In 1737, an edict of the King of France prescribed that all barrels intended for sale and transport must be fire-marked with the letters “C.D.R.” for Côtes du Rhône. This notoriety will increase and take shape in 1937 with the consecration of the AOC – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – Côtes du Rhône.

Under our feet…

The appellation is very vast, it is about 44,000 soccer fields (30,749 hectares) with the equivalent of 170 million bottles each year. Similarities in the different terroirs fall into two categories :

Firstly, the pebbly soils with clayey soil, the stony soils and the stony spreading soils (on the slopes of the reliefs) offer to the vine a regular water supply and the restitution, during the night, of the heat stored during the day by the pebbles. They are particularly conducive to the elaboration of wines for laying down. These stony soils are the types of soil that are most often found.

On the other hand, sandy and loessic soils (rock with very strong erosion, extremely crumbly) offer a more contrasted water supply. They are conducive to white and rosé wines with finesse and freshness. Also red wines with lightness and fruitiness.

Red & Rosé Wines of Côtes du Rhône

For the reds, the main grape varieties are Grenache (more than 30%), Syrah and Mourvèdre (more than 20%). This alliance gives the wines pronounced red fruit and spicy aromas with fleshy tannins that lend themselves to years of cellaring.

The grape variety of the Rosés is identical to that of the Reds. These wines express themselves with a lot of freshness, small red berries and a beautiful vivacity. They are very pleasant as an aperitif or also with elaborate dishes when their profiles are more powerful and greedy.

And the White Wines

The white wines are composed of 80% of the following grape varieties: Grenache blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and/or Viognier. This great diversity of grape varieties makes the whites full of aromas and freshness. One will find beautiful notes of white and yellow flowers, with fruity explosions with soft spicy notes at the end.