- On March 7, 2019
During the last ice age, glaciers carved a deep valley between France’s central highlands and the Alps. Now known as the Rhône valley, the legacy of this violent past are visible at every turn of its river. The wines here are defined by contrasts in weather too, with blistering cold winds from the north blowing over a third of the days in the year. This wind brings an unexpected gift; bright beautiful skies and plenty of sun for the vines to drink up.
In the North, where the river twists between steep hillsides, several prestigious appellations make reds from all or mostly all Syrah, and whites from Viognier or Marsanne and Roussanne. Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, and Condrieu are among the best known. Quality is the priority here, and the output of all of the northern vineyards is about ten percent of the Rhône as a whole.
In the South, things spread out into a much wider valley of rolling hills. This is where almost all wine labeled Côtes du Rhône come from, with an average annual production of slightly less than a half-billion bottles. The region is anchored and defined by several highly regarded appellations, chief among them Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas. The reds here are Grenache noir, with Syrah, Mouvèdre, and many other accessory grapes adding excitement.
Stop on in Saturday March 9th any time between 4pm and 7pm for a mini class and taste through 4 great Rhone wines. If you can’t make it in then stop on in and ask any of our wine staff for a recommendation!