The Côtes du Rhône AOC is spreading over 171 communes in 6 Departments: Ardèche, Drôme, Gard, Loire, Rhône and Vaucluse.
Five main soil types are found in the Côtes du Rhône. The shingle clay soil, the stony “argilo-calcaireous” and the soils containing layered stone (on the mountain slopes) provide the vines with a regular source of water. Alternatively, loess and sandy soils offer a more irregular supply of water and are more suitable for producing white, rosé and lighter red wines.
Climate and the types of soil have influenced the type of grape varieties under cultivation. Each variety conveys its own specific character, which, when blended with other varieties, results in the production of well balanced finely tuned wines.
Grenache, the main grape variety for red wines, offers fruitiness, warmth and body. Syrah and Mourvèdre donate a hint of spices, as well as depth of colour and strength to the wine enabling it to age well.
Cinsault is the bearer of finesse and is ideal for making rosé and fruity first year wines. White wines, which are fresh and aromatic, are the result of blending together several grapes, such as Bourboulenc, Grenache white, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette, and / or Viognier.
(More information: www.vins-rhone.com)