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Côtes du Rhône and
Côtes du Rhône-Villages

The Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellations, following the Rhone River from the northern Rhône toward the Mediterranean, cover the majority of vineyard sites in the southern Rhône.

Although the Côtes du Rhône comprises some 140,000 acres of vines – second only to Bordeaux as France’s largest wine region – it still produces a distinctive style of wine. Côtes-du-Rhône reds, which must be at least 40 percent Grenache, are typically bursting with warm red and dark fruit flavors. Some offer the signature dusty notes of garrigue, or underbrush and spice, so typical in red wines of Southern France. They are easy to drink, ready to enjoy upon release and a great match for a variety of hearty foods.

Côtes du Rhône wine production is approximately 90 percent red, but the region’s winemakers do create fine white and rosé wines. The whites are typically blends based on white Grenache. The rosés, like the region’s reds, must include a substantial portion of red Grenache in the blend, and so are usually deeper in color and fuller-bodied than many pale-pink rosés from Provence, a bit further south.

The Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellation covers 90 villages in the Southern Rhône; of these, 18 are permitted to include their names on the label. These villages, such as Rasteau and Cairanne, are believed to produce often ageworthy wines with particularly distinctive characteristics, and must employ more stringent production standards than simple Côtes du Rhônes. The vast majority of these Côtes du Rhône-Villages wines are red.

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