Partners: There’s More to Discover Within the Côtes du Rhône | Wine Enthusiast
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There’s More to Discover Within the Côtes du Rhône

There’s far more to the Côtes du Rhône than the familiar, value-driven reds that have become easy-drinking favorites in the U.S. The region has more than 2,000 years of winemaking heritage, spanning a compelling range of terroirs. From everyday favorites to world-class specialties in all colors, the Côtes du Rhône is filled with surprises.

Stretching 200 kilometers and encompassing 171 villages, the Côtes du Rhône region follows the Rhône River as it courses through exceptionally diverse and demanding terroirs. From dramatic terraces across sloped hillsides, to alluvial plains, vines here thrive in a mosaic of soils. Whether sand, limestone, clay, or the region’s famed galets (or large rolled stones), these soils lend individual character to the wide range of Côtes du Rhône wines.

The ancient Romans planted vines on terraces in what is now Côtes du Rhône as early as 125 B.C., setting a legacy of viticulture into motion. In the 14th century, the area’s wines were favored by the Avignon papacy. Today, more than 5,000 winemakers and merchants build on these traditions with hard work, careful expertise, and a lighthearted spirit, harnessing the Côtes du Rhône’s abundant sunshine and fierce Mistral wind to craft distinctive and richly flavored wines.

Côtes du Rhône’s wine makers have always been driven by their terroirs and their authenticity, it was one of the first AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, a guarantee of origin), created in France in 1937 to guarantee to all consumers in France and around the world that their Côtes du Rhône bottle is indeed coming from the Côtes du Rhône area.

Côtes du Rhône is devoted to quality across all levels, from the foundational Côtes du Rhône to the dynamic Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC (both with and without an appended geographic name), to the renowned Crus. The craft of blending is finely-honed and integral throughout all of these tiers, as 23 grape varieties are grown within the Côtes du Rhône’s vineyards. Red grapes like Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre and white grapes like Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne are used by the region’s skilled vintners to craft an intriguing array of red, white and rosé wines. Côtes du Rhône wines and Côtes du Rhône Villages can be enjoyed young but also have aging qualities. Your choice!

While red wines may have propelled Côtes du Rhône into the spotlight, the region’s white and rosé wines combine full, rich flavors with surprising freshness. This balance allows Côtes du Rhône wines to complement food exceptionally well. Try a textured white with festive turkey, a structured rosé to match roasted duck or fresh shellfish, or an earthy red to accompany braised lamb, brisket or prime rib. Whatever you’re serving, Côtes du Rhône has a food-friendly option to discover and enjoy throughout the season.

No matter what type of drinker you are, Côtes du Rhône wines will deliver their promises for any occasion and have something to charm all palates!

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