France: Rhône Valley

Between Montélimar and Orange

The northern Côtes du Rhône Villages, Tricastin and Vivarais
By Liz Berry MW

This Guide was last updated on 26 January 2012
To explore this Wine Travel Guide, select from the menu on the left

Main grape varieties


The principal red wine grape in this micro-region. Thrives in dry conditions, but it susceptible to disease. The wines are rich in aromas and texture, but can be high in alcohol.

This grape prefers temperate climatic conditions and thrives on the granite slopes of the north. However, it is widely used as part of the blend in this micro-region as it results in wines with strong colour, good structure, adding perfumed and spicy flavours.

A late ripener that grows best on pebbly slopes where it is less likely to suffer from the effects of drought. It produces wines with good colour, structure and aromas.

Ancient Mediterranean variety that is robust and productive resulting in wines with high acidity, tannins and colour that are best blended with Grenache and Cinsault. It thrives well on the hills on schist soils.

Gives supple, light wines and is particularly suited for rosé production, and for reds that are aimed to be drunk within a year. A high yielding variety that is resistant to drought, and can add perfume within a blend.

A rustic red varietal unique to the Ardèche valley, producing quite tannic reds with flavours of cassis and gooseberry, and some rather anonymous rose.


This variety is well-suited to poor, dry soils. Often used with Grenache Blanc, or Ugni Blanc which contributes the acidity needed in a blend with this variety.

Grenache Blanc
Used in blends to add supple fruit and body.

Used as a blending ingredient. Floral, aromatic varietal which adds perfume to blends.

Attributes elegant and delicate characteristics to better blends.

Makes powerful wines with low acidity. This rustic grape flourishes on the hot, rocky slopes.

Capricious grape with low yields and uneven ripening produces wines with aromas of blossom, ripe pears and apricots.

This information is provided free of charge, however it is strictly the copyright of Wine Travel Guides and its contributors. We try to do our best in keeping our guides and information up-to-date and accurate, but if you notice any mistakes, please contact us. Note that we take no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Thanks for your respect and understanding. For full details see our Terms and Conditions.