The Northern Rhône’s Saint-Joseph appellation stretches more than 30 miles along the western banks of the Rhône River, from Condrieu to Cornas. The borders of the region have stretched since it was first designated: It once included just six villages, and today includes 26. As elsewhere around the Northern Rhône, the wines produced here are predominantly red, made with Syrah. They may be blended with a maximum of 10 percent Roussanne or Marsanne, varieties that are also used to make Saint-Joseph white wines.
Saint-Joseph reds cover a range of styles depending where they’re grown. Medium-bodied, full-flavored wines with peppery, tannic notes are produced on the steep granite slopes above the valley; lighter-bodied, more fruit-forward wines come from the lower slopes and plains toward the floor of the valley.