The Rhône-Alpes wine region is often simply called Rhône Wine region by winelovers and connoisseurs. As such, it is also split into two distinct wine areas that produce really wines wiht diverse characters and flavours.
The Northern Rhône wine region
This part of the Rhône area produces less wine than its south, but they are equally excellent. The most famous northern Rhône wine are as follows:
- Rhône Côte Rotie wine: it produces a fine wine from the Syrah grape. It is often said to be producing the finest wine of the Rhône Valley. The ideal time to drink such a French wine is 15 or 20 years after bottling.
- The best Cote rotie wines are definitely the La Landonne, La Mouline and La Turque wines, as well as the less prohibitive Ogier, Burgaud, Barge and Jasmin wines. Surprinsigly, they are not much renowned in France.
- Condrieu is doubtlessly the Rhône's finest white wine. This is a robust and intense French wine that manages to maintain its subtle balance.
- Hermitage is the other exceptional red wine of the northern Rhône. It can produce red or white wine cuvées, many of them being outstanding French wines. The Crozes-Hermitage wine provides excellent value for money French wines.
The southern Rhône wine region
Top Tip! The leading wine in the south of the Rhône region is undoubtedly Châteauneuf du Pape. Most of the Châteauneuf du Pape wines are red, but a small percentage is white. The red is an exceptional French red wine but still very affordable. Largely unknown some decades ago, this southern Rhône delight has become an international best-seller wine.
- These wines are a legacy of the time when Popes inhabited the famous Avignon - known as the City of Popes – who have done a lot to promote the local vineyards. Chateauneuf-du-pape is robust but extraordinarily fruity and full of flavour.
- Gigondas is probably the next most well known appellation of the southern Rhône region. The best wines are fullly-bodied, rich and fruity.
- Vacqueyras is an appellation producing mainly red wines, with a small amount of white and rosé wines. These French wines can be really affordable.
Other Rhône wines
- Another Rhône wine we must quote in this article is the famous Clairette de Die. It is pretty famous throughout France and generally drunk in France to celebrate a special moment like a birthday or at Christmas, being an excellent second choice when Champagne is too expensive.
- Coteaux du Tricastin and Côtes du Ventoux are other fine Rhône wines. They can be red, white or rosé wines.
- Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages are equally excellent French wines that may be red, white or rosé. Indeed, most Rhône Wines are sold under this Côtes du Rhône appellation, the other wines of this area of France being less known, a pity!
All these Rhône wines are excellent so if you visit this part of southern France next summer, or if you plan to buy a property next to the wonderful vineyards in Rhône-Alpes, why not make a stop at one of the small cellars along the road to taste these chilled French wines?