What is the first town north of the Southern Rhone?
Describe the terrain in the Southern Rhone
Much flatter than that of the Northern Rhone
Describe the soils of many of the best vineyard sites in the Southern Rhône
They have very stony soils
What is the effect of the very stony soils in the Southern Rhone?
They absorb the sun's heat and warm the vineyard, aiding ripening
What are the soils in some areas of Chateauneuf-du-Pape like?
The stones/galets completely cover the soil surface
Describe the climate of the Southern Rhone
It is mediterranean
Mild winters and warm, dry summers
What are the two major climatic hazards of the Southern Rhone?
High winds (from the Mistral)
Why is the Mistral more of a problem in the Southern Rhone than the Northern Rhone?
Winds gain more speed here
There is less shielding from the wind by slopes
How are the effects of the Mistral protected against in the Southern Rhone?
By building wind-breaks
Describe how Grenache and Syrah respectively are protected from the Mistral
Grenache is trained low
Syrah benefits from the support offered by trellising systems
What is particularly different about grape content in Southern Rhone wines (particularly relating to the North)
The wines are often complex blends
How many grape varieties can a Southern Rhone wine be made from?
More than a dozen
Which variety is by far the most widely planted in the Southern Rhone?
Which variety dominates the wines of the Southern Rhone?
Why is Grenache successful in the Southern Rhone?
The warm summers allow it to ripen fully
What flavours does Grenache produce in the Southern Rhone?
Concentrated, spiced red fruit flavours
What can happen to Grenache-based wines in the Southern Rhone?
Their flavours can become baked and jammy
What does Syrah offer to blends in the Southern Rhone?
Extra colour and tannin
Which grape variety of the Southern Rhone can struggle in the hottest sites?
Which grape is at its northernmost limit in the Southern Rhone?
Describe Mourvèdre in Southern Rhône
Very high tannins
Dense, black fruit flavours and gamey/meaty aromas when fully ripe
Where are Mourvedre's ripe aromas most prized in the Southern Rhone?
Name the fourth most important grape in the Southern Rhone and describe its role(s)
It provides red fruit flavours (rather than structure)
What is the best known role of Cinsault in the Southern Rhone?
As a blending partner to Grenache in the production of fresh, fruity Roses
What is notable about winemaking in the Southern Rhone
It is incredibly varied
What is a consistent challenge for winemakers in the Southern Rhone?
They must all find a way of managing potentially high tannins and high alcohol levels to produce a balanced wine
Name some ways in which Southern Rhone producers may battle high tannins and high alcohol levels
Cold pre-fermentation maceration and storage in stainless steel
Warm, extractive fermentations in traditional open fermenters and maturation in large old oak vessels
How will Southern Rhone producers usually make up their blends?
With wines that have been fermented using different techniques
What is the role of oak in the Southern Rhone?
New oak is used by some producers
Some producers believe that new oak overwhelms the flavours of Grenache
What is the range of styles within the Southern Rhone?
From light-to-medium bodied fresh, fruity wines with low tannins to highly tannic, full-bodied reds with flavours of spice, meat and/or earth