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Archeological evidence shows that the first vines planted in the Rhône Valley date back to 2,500 years ago. The Rhône did not become a significant producer of wine until the latter part of the 20th century. This appellation accounts for 60% of wine produced in the Rhône region, an area whose production is second in volume only to Bordeaux generic. It extends over 125 miles from Vienna to Avignon.
The varietal that dominates the southern Cotes-du-Rhône is Grenache. Although all wines from this region are blends, it is this particular grape that distinguishes them from wines of other parts of the world. Because of its sensitivity to cooler climates, it is rarely found further north than here. Grenache is a grape with a high level of sugar, and therefore the wine never has trouble attaining a sufficient level of alcohol. It can sometimes be difficult to grow, as it needs eight straight days of nice weather when it is in flower to be properly pollinated. Wines made with the Grenache grape increase in quality when lighter and more aromatic wines from other grapes like Syrah, Cinsault or Mourvèdre are blended with it. Yields are limited to 3.5 tons per acre.
The spectrum of wines created in the Côtes-du-Rhône is broad due to the variation in soils and microclimates within the appelation. Light, fragrant and fruity wines in the Beaujolais style are made here. So are more traditional, powerful wines that are meant to be aged several years before the true harmony of their elements is revealed.
Since 1976, Louis Bernard has united winemakers of the Rhone Valley in a common project: to devote the best of their wine and savoir-faire to producing great wines. With production throughout the Cotes du Rhone region, Louis Bernard remains dedicated to showcasing the unique characteristics of each terroir while producing exquisite, world-class wines.
La Chartreuse de Bonpas is...Read More About Louis Bernard
A Cote of Many Grapes
The appellation of Cotes du Rhone encompasses much of the land of the area, not to mention much of the wine - over two-thirds of the wine produced here is of the Cotes-du-Rhone appellation. Wines here need only be from the Cotes de Rhone geographic area (which is fairly large) and consist of one or more of the 22 varieties permitted. Being such a wide...Read More About Cotes du Rhone
The Rhone region of France has a delightful selection of red varieties. There are 22 grapes allowed in the Rhone AOC, about half of them red. Most of these varieties are used as secondary blending partners, often comprising less than 10% of the blend. The primary red players of Rhone blends are Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre. Most wines from the Southern Rhone use Grenache as their...Read More About Rhone Red Blends
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