A Guide to Rhone and Cotes du Rhone

The Rhone wine region is found on the Rhone river valley in southern France and has two distinct sub-regions. The Northern Rhone is known for its red wines from the Syrah grape – more widely known as Shiraz, which is also an important part of the wine countries of California and Australia – as well as Mourvedre, Carignan and others. White wines in the northern region are made predominantly from Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier grapes. The Southern Rhone often blends grapes to produce red, white and rose wines.

Cotes du Rhone is the region’s largest wine-growing appellation, covering both the northern and southern sub-regions, where Grenache (reds and roses) and Grenache blanc (whites) are the dominant wines. Cotes du Rhone wines must have a minimum alcohol content of 11% and can be made of a blend of up to 23 grapes.

Cotes du Rhone wines are very food friendly, intended to enhance a meal instead of upstaging it. They are fruity with an earthy character, and not overly complicated. Cotes du Rhone wines are extremely versatile, pairing well with white or red meat, grilled fish, pasta and pizza, while offering exceptional value. Cotes du Rhone Villages wines are known to have a higher grape-growing pedigree and can be a bit more complex while offering a similar value.