Situated in the Rhone Valley in the South of France, the Rhone wine making region has a reputation for excellence. We sell Hermitage Rhone Wine here at the Ideal Wine Company. To show you why you’re destined to love these rich, complex vintages we thought we’d reveal four things you need to know about Rhone wine…
Time honoured tradition
Rhone wine making dates back to the region’s Ancient Greek and Roman periods. The latter’s introduction of sophisticated production techniques allowed the Rhone Valley to develop one of the most advanced wine making traditions in the ancient world. Rhone wine experienced a renaissance in 1737 when French king Louis XV declared its celebrated Côtes du Rhône varietal a recognised brand, and has since become increasingly popular around the world.
The wine making region can be split into two areas. The Northern Rhone – which lies north of the Rhone River, is known for producing hearty red wines, although these are sometimes blended with whites. In contrast the Southern Rhone – which lies on the other side of the river is more versatile, with its wineries producing reds, whites, roses and an array of blends. The Northern Rhone has a continental climate with harsh winters but warm summers. It’s cooler than the Southern Rhone which means the two regions have developed their own distinct grape growing traditions over the years.
Grapes commonly grown in the North include Syrah (by law all reds from this sub-region must be made with Syrah grapes) and the white varietals Marsanne and Roussanne. Meanwhile with its more Mediterranean climate, the South is famous for growing a wider variety of grapes. Its most celebrated red vintage, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is a blend of 19 varieties! The region’s varietals include the white grapes Ugni Blanc, Picardin, Carignan Blanc and Clairette Blanche. The Southern Rhone is also known for producing a number of red grapes including Syrah, Grenache, Terret Noir and Muscardin, which is exclusively found in the Rhone Valley.
Rhone wine is incredibly popular throughout the planet. Figures quoted by Planet Rhone, a Rhone wine information site, show that 400 million bottles were consumed around the world from 2012-2013. Meanwhile, evidence suggests that a bottle of Rhone wine is consumed every 13 seconds and the product was enjoyed by wine lovers in a staggering 159 countries in 2013.
Over the years the Rhone Valley has cultivated a rich, varied wine making tradition that continues to prove popular with consumers across the world to this very day. Why not follow the Ideal Wine Company on Twitter to find out the latest wine-related news and information on a daily basis?