The finesse, richness and originality of the wines of the RhôneValley probably come from the tremendous diversity of its grape varieties. The RhôneValley has 23 of them! Here we present the region's most typical varieties:
gives good expression to the generosity, power and warm character of the wines of the southern Rhône valley. Originally from Spain, it was planted in the South of France more than two centuries ago. There are both red and white Grenache grapes. A vigorous variety, it has a good resistance to drought, and the Mistral. The king of the RhôneValley, it is given pride of place in our red wine blends, not only for its dense aromatic potential, its flavours of red fruit and spices and its voluptuousness, but also for its gentle character. It adds ageing potential to the blends and its organoleptic qualities are highlighted when it is combined with other varieties. It also produces fruity, silky rosés. White Grenache produces wines that are low in acidity, well-rounded and with good length on the palate.
Originally from the Dauphiné region, Syrah is the main grape of the Northern wines, and is found in the blends of virtually all the Southern wines. As a single varietal, it produces red and rosé wines with a very deep colour, and complex aromas of spices and red fruit (blackcurrant, blackberry and violet). Its beautiful tannin structure also enables wines to improve with age, whether they have been made in vats or barrels. With time, the aromas of violet, red or black fruit and spices evolve with pleasant notes of pepper, cooked fruit, truffles, liquorice and leather. Due to its aromatic richness and intense colour, it is blended with Grenache in all of our AOP (PDO) wines.
A vigorous, fertile, late-ripening variety, requiring plenty of moisture, heat and light. Originally from Spain, it has adapted very well to the Southern Rhône valley. This is an expressive varietal, rich in tannins, giving powerful, colourful, full-bodied wines which are nevertheless elegant.
When young, it expresses aromas of pepper, tobacco and small black fruit with notes of the garrigue (Mediterranean scrubland). With age, its aromas develop and become more rounded, intense and complex. Mourvèdre's antioxidant properties prolong the freshness and enrich the aromas of rosé wines such as Tavel. Blended with Grenache, it reinforces a wine's structure and complexity.
You will find these characteristics in the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages red wine Plan de Dieu from Domaine du Père Hugues.
This old variety produces very juicy, large white-fleshed grapes. It has a strong presence in the Languedoc and in the Rhône Valley. Requiring plenty of sunshine, it does well on hillsides, and has a good resistance to drought. The best quality tends to come from vines planted in poor soil. Cinsault is used in the red wines of the Côtes-du-Rhône, Côtes-du-RhôneVillages, Côtes-de-Provence and other AOPs.
It is also very popular in rosé wines, such as Tavel. Supple, with little acidity, low in colour and in alcohol, it offers flowery, fruity aromas. Not very tannic, it is always combined with other varietals such as Grenache, Mourvèdre, Carignan or Syrah.
Originating from Spain, this late-ripening varietal needs heat and sunshine. It is particularly suited to hillsides with dry soil. It produces wines that are well-coloured, generous and powerful. As it ages, the aromatic range broadens with pepper, cherry, blackberry, banana, raspberry, almond, prune and violet.
Primarily found in the Rhône valley, around Valence. The classic white grape of Condrieu, it produces very high quality, exceptionally elegant wines, that are both lively and full-bodied. Wine lovers especially appreciate its rich, creamy smoothness and exuberant aromas of peach, lychee, apricot and sometimes violet.
It is the main grape in Château Noël Saint Laurent's white Côtes-du-Rhône.
One of the oldest grape varieties in the South, and very typical of the region. Its grapes are very juicy. The vine's branches are quite sensitive to wind. It adapts to pebbly, not very fertile limestone soil. This grape produces fresh, slightly acidulous wine, with a refined, complex character offering flowers and white fruit (apple and peach). Sensitive to oxidation, Clairette is blended with other varietals such as Grenache Blanc which is enriched by its organoleptic qualities.
These characteristics can be found in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape white Domaine la Souco Papale.
Grown primarily in the South of France, where it thrives in hot dry weather. A white grape with a low potential alcohol that ripens fairly late and is usually not harvested until at least the end of September. It offers subtle aromas of flowers and exotic fruit. Combined with Clairette, it adds a touch of freshness and liveliness to our white Côtes-du-Rhône.
A fragile white grape that is difficult to grow but can offer tremendous finesse, much appreciated for its complex floral aromas (hawthorn, honeysuckle), and aromas of yellow fruit, honey and spices. It is often combined with Marsanne (Crozes-Hermitage, Saint Joseph, Hermitage red or white), and with Grenache Blanc and Clairette (white Côtes-du-Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape).
One of the oldest white grape varieties of the South; originally from Montelimar, in the Drôme. Also known as "Grosse Roussette" or "Abondance" in some regions, Marsanne is fertile and produces small juicy grapes. It grows perfectly in the Rhône Valley where it benefits from the Mediterranean climate and the dry, pebbly soil. It is often blended withRousanne. These two varietals complement each other perfectly: together they give light wines with very little acidity and aromas of yellow and white fruit and flowers, with notes of honey and liquorice.