Protected Designations of Origin (AOP)
From the Côtes-du-Rhône to the Côtes-Rôties, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape to Gigondas, the RhôneValley is rich in appellations renowned for their unique character. Great appellations for legendary wines.
The area designated by the Gigondas appellation is located in the Vaucluse, at the foot of the “Dentelles de Montmirail”. The village was used as a military base by the Romans, who named it
“Jucunditas”, which means joy and pleasure. On account of its excellence, Gigondas was the first Côtes-du-Rhône Villages appellation to become an AOP in 1971. It is now one of the most well-known appellations of the Rhône valley. An elegant wine for lying down, rich in aromas and nuances, it has acquired a reputation close to that of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
The most prestigious appellation of the Southern Rhône Valley is also at the origin of the AOP concept.
In the 14th century, the Papacy moved to Avignon and, choosing the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region as a summer residence, began to promote wine production in the area. In the 1920s, Baron Le Roy established himself as a wine-grower in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A trained lawyer, he was asked to instil some order into the organisation of the production and its marketing. In 1924, he set up the union of the winegrowers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and then, in 1929, the union of the Côtes-du-Rhône, now known as InterRhône. Baron Le Roy's involvement continued, ultimately leading to the drafting of a bill that set out the basis for the "appellation d'origine protégée" system (protected designation of origin) in 1935. In 1936, Châteauneuf-du-Pape became one of the first AOPs.
The typical characteristics of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation are due to two key factors. First of all, the exceptional terroir: this consists of rounded pebbles from ancient Alpine glaciers. Due to these pebbles, the heat stored during the day is returned to the vines during the night, thereby helping the grapes to ripen. Then there is the wind: the Mistral which blows on the vines, keeping the vineyard healthy by protecting it from moisture and foreign bodies present in the air. The red wines are very complex, powerful, and balanced, and are known for their potential to age. They have aromas of undergrowth, ripe fruit and spices. The whites are low in acidity, well-rounded and very fragrant, with notes of fruit and white flowers which, as the years pass, evolve towards a more honeyed, woody bouquet.
This is one of the oldest appellations in France. In 1737, the King of France issued an edict stating that all barrels sold must be branded with the letters “C.d.R.”.
In 1936, the Côtes-du-Rhône AOP was created and obliged wine producers to respect specific criteria relating to the definition of the production area, grape varieties, yield, quality of the wine and alcohol content. The appellation covers a vast area, from Vienne to Avignon. In selecting our wines, we give preference mainly to the vineyards in the Gard and Vaucluse.
The appellation produces three colours of wine (red, white and rosé) and is one of the ambassadors of the Rhône Valley. A Côtes-du-Rhône red can easily be enjoyed throughout a convivial meal between friends or family. Côtes-du-Rhône white wines are ideal as an aperitif, with fish in sauce and with poultry. Served chilled, the rosé is a delightful accompaniment to summer meals, Asian cuisine, pizzas and white meats.
The creation of the Côtes-du-Rhône Villages AOP dates from 1966 and now includes 90 communes in four departments: Ardèche, Drôme, Gard and Vaucluse.The Côtes-du-Rhône Villages sector is more restricted than that of the Côtes-du-Rhône. The grape varieties are the same as in the Côtes-du-Rhône but yields are lower and the concept of terroir is favoured. The red wines are made with at least 50 % Grenache Noir and then at least 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre and other varieties authorised up to a maximum of 20%. Côtes-du-Rhône Villages reds offer more refined, full-bodied wines that are elegant on the palate and have a more developed tannin structure, enabling a greater potential for improvement with age.
Recognised for their specific characteristics, the names of 17 districts can follow the name Côtes-du-Rhône Villages. We will present those we produce.
Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Signargues
Recognised AOP in 2005, its vineyards are spread over four communes in the Gard: Domazan, Estézargues, Rochefort-du-Gard and Saze. This terroir, over which the Rhône river used to flow, is characterised by heavy rain and very hot summers. It only produces red wines. These wines are elegant and refined, with aromas of fruit. They go well with red meat such as duck breast or lamb.
Discover our Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Signargues Château de Domazan (Certified Organic in 2012)
Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Visan
Designated AOP in 1967, the terroir is in Vaucluse, in the commune of Visan, a 14th-century former papal property, now located in the Enclave des Papes. Vines have been grown here since ancient times, benefiting from the Mediterranean climate and the pebbly, clay-limestone soil. The terroir produces voluptuous, full-flavoured red wines, with notes of the garrigue (Mediterranean scrubland) and spices.
Discover our Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Visan Domaine le Garrigon, Organic.
Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret
Designated AOP in 1967, the vines are in the commune of Séguret, a village perched high in the hills, and ranked among the most beautiful in France. The vines grow on pebbly clay-limestone hillsides and terraces. The main grape varieties are Grenache Noir, Syrah and/or Mourvedre.
The red wines have aromas of black fruit and well-integrated tannins. They go well with Provençal specialities, poultry and cheese.
Discover our Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Séguret Domaine Montbayon.
Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu
“Plan Dei” was the name given to the area by the religious communities that settled here in the Middle Ages and continued to grow vines. Designated AOP in 2005, the vineyards are located in Vaucluse in the communes of Camaret-sur-Aigues, Jonquières, Travaillan and Violès, on a large plain bathed in sunshine and swept dry by the Mistral. Producing only reds, the wines offer intense aromas of ripe fruit and spices with notes of the Garrigue.
Discover our Côtes-du-Rhône Villages plan de Dieu Domaine du Père Hugues.
The name of the appellation indicates its location. These vineyards flourish in the foothills of Mount Ventoux, spread over fifty communes with more than 6,000 hectares between Vaison la Romaine and Apt. The main grape varieties are Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault. The climate is colder than in the Côtes-du-Rhône, resulting in later harvests. An AOC since 1973, the Côtes-du-Ventoux became simply "Ventoux" in 2009. The red wines are particularly good with grilled foods. The rosés are becoming increasingly popular.
Vacqueyras comes from the latin Vallea Quadreria, which means "valley of the stones". Designated AOP in 1990, the appellation is near Gigondas, in the communes of Vacqueyras and Sarrians, sheltered from the Dentelles de Montmirail. Its red wines age well, with aromas of red berries that, over the years, develop notes of liquorice, spices and pepper. Their refined, fresh character differentiates them from the wines of Gigondas.
The vineyards are located in a fabulous natural setting, in the heart of Luberon's Regional Nature Park. The wine producers are careful to respect natural resources and the environment. Exposed to the winds coming down from the Pays de Sault, this terroir benefits from the overflow of the infrequent rain on the Albion plateau. The wind and dry conditions are beneficial to the vineyards. The climate, which is cooler than in the Southern Rhône valley, explains why white wines account for 25% of this appellation's production and have gained a reputation for quality. Luberon reds can be enjoyed throughout a meal.
Recognised as an appellation in 1937, it is the only appellation in the Rhône that produces exclusively rosé wines. It is also known as the '"King of the rosés". The vineyards were planted in antiquity by the Greeks, and are located in Tavel on the right bank of the Rhône opposite Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wines are fresh on the palate with fruity notes and a generous, well-rounded, aromatic style. Enjoy with dishes from the south of France such as bouillabaisse, anchoiade (anchovy dip) or Asian cuisine.
Neighbouring Tavel, opposite Châteauneuf-du-Pape on the right bank of the Rhône, Lirac is a very warm, Southern appellation. Its wines are enjoyed for their full-bodied character, finesse and aromas of ripe fruit and spices. They go well with dishes such as shoulder of lamb, haunch of wild boar, beef casserole, shepherd's pie or good dark chocolate.
This is one of the oldest vineyards in Europe whose origins date back to Greek colonisation, and then the Romans who continued to grow vines. Formerly known as the "Wine of Mauves" (a local commune), it was much appreciated by the kings of France in the 14th century; the Jesuits in Tournon gave it the name of “Saint-Joseph” in the 18th century. It was granted AOC status in 1956. The vineyards are located between Condrieu and Cornas, on steep hillsides, mainly granitic, along the right bank of the Rhône. Syrah is the only red grape authorised with a possible 10% of Roussanne or Marsanne, which are both white grapes.
Elegant and refined, the Syrah gives the wines a powerful peppery flavour with a hint of violet. It makes a fine accompaniment to a veal sauté with olives, osso bucco, small grilled game, and chocolate pastries.
Costières de Nîmes
This AOP is regarded as the most southern of the Rhône valley appellations. Located in the area around Nîmes, it looks over the Camargue plains. Known for its Roman remains, Nimes offers real evidence of the presence of the Romans, who introduced vines before the time of Jesus Christ. The terroir consists of rounded pebbles from the quaternary era, very much like the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, enabling the production of wines with spicy flavours and silky tannins. The reds are a perfect accompaniment for a gardiane de taureau (Mediterranean ox-tail stew), a rib of beef or roast poultry.
An AOC since 1937, it has the largest area of vines in the north and covers 11 communes in the Drôme around Crozes-Hermitage and Tain-l'Hermitage. Syrah is the main grape variety and may be supplemented with Marsanne or Roussanne. The Syrah offers a beautiful balance between fruit and tannins. When young, the wines of Crozes-Hermitage have floral and red fruit flavours. Over the years, they develop more animal notes, of spices and leather.
White Crozes-Hermitage accounts for less than 10% of the AOP and offers fresh, dry fruity wines.
Or “Ermitage”, an AOP since 1937 and the only wine in the North on the left bank of the Rhône. This legendary wine is produced in three communes in the Drôme: Tain l'Hermitage, Crozes-Hermitage and Larnage. The origin of the appellation's name lies in the story of the knight of Sterimberg. According to legend, tired of fighting the Cathars in 1224, this valiant knight repented and founded a hermitage on top of the hill in Tain, where he retired and planted vines. However, vines had been grown in the area since ancient times. The vineyards are located on hillsides sheltered from the wind and well exposed to the sun.
This exceptional wine is rich, very aromatic and tannic but with beautiful finesse on the palate due to the Syrah which thrives wonderfully on this terroir. It can be blended with up to 15% Marsanne and Roussanne which are the two varieties used in white Hermitage (which accounts for slightly less than 30% of the appellation). The Hermitage red can be enjoyed with game, hearty red meat dishes or a coq au vin.
Planted by the Romans, this is one of the oldest vineyards in France. An AOP since 1940, the vineyards enjoy a temperate climate and cover three communes located on the right bank of the Rhône: Saint-Cyr sur Rhône, Ampuis and Tupin Semons. The vines are on very steep hillsides with narrow terraces which only allow manual harvests. According to legend, in the Middle Ages, Lord Maugiron divided his land between his two daughters, one a brunette, the other blonde. This explains why there are two very different terroirs: to the North, the Côte Brune, producing strong, full-bodied wines, and to the South, the Côte Blonde whose wines are more refined. Syrah, the main grape variety of the Côte-Rôtie, gives aromas of truffles, violets and leather. The Viognier grape can be added up to 20% to give Côte-Rôtie wines more flavour and finesse. A national Syrah conservatory has been set up in Ampuis to study and preserve the variety's genetic heritage.
Today the Côte Rôtie is renowned for its exceptional quality. It can be enjoyed with lamb, duck breast or a Tournedos Rossini.
Granted AOC status in 1940, this appellation is located in the northern Côtes-du-Rhône, on the right bank of the Rhône on steep granite slopes overlooking the river. Condrieu means "by the corner of the stream".
An old river port, Condrieu was known for its barges that provided river transport for centuries between Lyon and Beaucaire, not far from Avignon. Later, it became a cooperage centre.
The production area covers approximately 150 ha which makes it a rare wine, particularly as the average yield is 38hl/ha. Produced exclusively from Viognier and harvested manually, the wines offer a remarkably wide range of flavours, which evolve as the years pass. Very elegant wines, superb aromatic strength with fruit and flowers. Delicious as an aperitif with pélardon (local goat's cheese), and then throughout the meal, with fish in sauce, a scallop gratin, pan-fried foie gras or an apricot dessert.