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Comprehensive description of all European growing areas, their grape varieties, traditions and legal rules with maps.

Cornas AOC

Description to Cornas AOC

AOC area in the northern section of the Rhône on the right bank, classified as Cru (peak appellation). The name, of Celtic origin, means "burnt or scorched earth", which, like the appellation Côte Rôtie, refers to the hot and dry climate. The red wine from this area has an ancient history. According to an unverifiable legend, a connoisseur is said to have been Emperor Charlemagne (1638-1715). At the French royal court the Cornas was already popular in the 10th century and in the 19th century its excellent reputation was comparable to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

The vineyards cover some 125 hectares of vineyards in the municipality of Cornas in the Ardèche department north of the city of Valence. The terraced, very steep slopes consist of granite and limestone in the subsoil. The vineyards are among the steepest vineyards in Europe. The eleven streams flowing through the area mostly mark the boundaries of the sites. From north to south these are Les Arlettes, Le Coulet, Les Eygas, Jouvet, St. Pierre, Peupliers, Chaillot, Pied la Vigne, Reynards (with individual sites Tezier, La Geynale and La Côte), Les Mazards, Sauman, Champelrose, La Lègre, Sabarotte, Les Saveaux, Les Côtes, Patou and Combe.

The extremely long-lasting red wine, which is only ready to drink after a long bottle-ageing, is made from the Syrah variety. Wines that do not meet the appellation regulations are marketed under AOC Côtes du Rhône. Well-known producers are Thierry Allemand, Franck Balthazar, Auguste Clape, Pierre-Marie Clape, Jean-Luc Colombo, Courbis, Delas, Eric et Joel Durand, Dumien-Serrette, Jaboulet-Aîné, Marcel Juge, Jacques Lemenicier, Jean Lionnet, Tardieu-Laurent, Vincent Paris, Noël Verset and Alan Voge.


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