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Southern Rhone

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The Southern Rhone is a very significant wine region in France,  second only to Bordeaux, in terms of the quality and the volume of the wine it produces.

Most of the Southern Rhone wines are complex blends that involve Grenache whereas the Northern Rhone wines feature Shiraz blends more predominantly.

The Cotes du Rhone is a large wine growing appellation that sits within the Southern Rhone wine region. This is where the ‘entry level’ AOC wines (Appellation d’Origine Controlee), of the region are made, providing delightful and approachable red wines that are sold around the world.

The climate in the Southern Rhone is classified as moderate to warm ‘Mediterranean’ due to the warmer winters and long, dry Summers.

Grenache is the main red grape variety, comprising 2/3 of production in the Southern Rhone mostly because it is so hardy and it can withstand the drier conditions.

In general,  Grenache displays spiced red fruit such as raspberry, cherry, clove, white pepper and cardamom. The more sophisticated wines, from Chateauneuf du Pape, show aromas and flavours of licorice, leather, earth and garrigue.

Historically, the region was also known for the number of Popes who were ‘seated’ in the region, hence the term ‘Pape’ in Chateauneuf du Pape.

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