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Regions

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

Côte Rôtie AOC

Description to Côte Rôtie AOC

Area classified as cru (top appellation) in the northern section of the Rhône on the right bank. The name means "roasted or fried slopes" and describes the hot, dry climate or sun-drenched vineyards (analogous to the Cornas appellation further south). The area is one of the oldest wine-growing regions in France. The Romans already cultivated wine here at the turn of the century and one of the first wine lovers was the famous Roman poet Martial (40-102). The vineyards cover around 300 hectares of vines and are divided into three sub-areas. These are Tupin et Semons in the south, the central area around Ampuis and Verenay and St-Cyr-Sur-Le-Rhône in the north. A legend has grown up around the two sites Côte Brune (ferrous clay) and Côte Blonde (calcareous) in the central area. It is said that in the 16th century the feudal lord Maugiron bequeathed the property to his two daughters, one of whom was blond and the other brunette. The two types of soil produce wines with different characters.

Côte Rôtie - Weinberge bei Vienne

The soil consists of gneiss or mica slate, but is divided into over 70 different layers with different soil types. The climate is a mixture of continental and Mediterranean influence. The local north wind called "Bise" protects the vines from excessive heat. Some of the vineyards are extremely steep, terraced vineyards, which are among the steepest in Europe. The dark-coloured, tannin-rich red wine is one of the great wines of France, which only reaches drinking maturity after long bottle aging. However, this only applies to the privileged areas (not to flat plateaus). The historic Côte Blonde and Côte Brune, as well as Les Grandes Places, La Landonne, Les Moutonnes and La Viallière are considered the best sites. It is pressed from at least 80% Syrah and the white wine variety Viognier, with the grapes being processed together with mixed fermentation. Special vintages are 1978, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. Well-known producers are Pierre Barge, Bernard Burgaud, Champet, Chapoutier, Clusel-Roch, Delas, Pierre Gaillard, Guigal, Jaboulet-Aîné, Joseph Jamet, Jasmin, Ogier, Domaine René Rostaing and Vidal-Fleury.

Image: From BlueBreezeWiki - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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