When you think about wine in the country of France you think of Bordeaux, which has been dominating wine around the word since the 12th century . You also think about the region of Burgundy wine, which claims to have the oldest history of wine making of any of the regions of France dating back to 312 AD.
The one region that is commonly forgotten is that of the region the Rhone Valley. The Rhone Valley is sandwiched in between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Which makes it a perfect location to grow wine.
To go back to the history of the Rhone Valley, during the 17th and 18th centuries in the Rhone valley the people their saw the most wine production that they had ever seen in the valley before that time period. This very quickly lead to in the 17th century lead the Rhone Valley become a major player in French wine and was named in 1737 an administrative district “Cote du Rhone” by order of the King. This meant that all future bottles of wine that comes from that region have the letters on it “C.D.R.” or Rhone Wines.
This was not given official recognition by the High Court of Tournon in Uzes until the year of 1936 and it was just after in the year of 1927 that the Rhone Valley was finally given the official wine recognition AOC- Appellation d’Orgine Controlee- Cotes Du Rhone (AOC).
Today the Rhone Valley has over 6000 estates and is the second largest French AOC wine region, when you look at surface area and production. In the year of 2012 it produced 2.83 million hectoliters of wine. The Rhone Valley distributes its wine to over 155 countries around the world. There are five main soil types that are found in the Rhone Valley and the grape variety selection that you will find that are most common there are,
When you look at the Grenache grape you find that it is mostly used for red wines. The Cinsault is perfectly ideal for making a rose wine; however, it is very common to see it mixed with other grapes such as Bourboulen, Roussane and others to help make the aromatic blends of the wine better for the educated palate.
In 1996 due to issues of wine growers, they made a law that a Grenache based wine must be made up of 40% of the grape. This law made the Rhone Valley bloom even more then it was before hand. The minimum alcoholic strength you should find for the region if around 11% and that covers all red, rose and white wines.
During the year of 2010 the Rhone Valley sold 413 million bottles of wine of which 74% of that stayed in France and only 26% of that wine was exported out of the country – Out of that 26% of the wine that was exported 47% came to the two countries of United States and England. Making the rest of the world commonly forget, how amazing wine from the Rhone Valley really can be. Drink well and drink safe.