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Flashcards in Southern Rhône Deck (30):

What is the climate of the Southern Rhône?

The climate of the Southern Rhône is Mediterranean.

This is in contrast to the Northern Rhône's more Continental climate.  The Southern Rhône has milder winters, drier summers, and is better suited to a wider array of grape varieties.


How does the topography of the Southern Rhône differ from that of the Northern Rhône?

The Southern Rhône is considerably less hilly than the Northern Rhône, and in many places quite level and flat.


What are the characteristics of the best vineyards of the Southern Rhône?

Many of the best vineyards in the Southern Rhône have stony soils which absorb the sun's heat during the day and warm the vineyard in the evening.


What are galets?

Galets are large stones or pebbles which are characteristic of some of the best vineyard soils of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOP.


What is the Mistral?

The Mistral is a powerful, cold, dry, northwesterly wind which greatly affects the Rhône Valley and eastern portion of the Languedoc.


What are some important trellising systems implemented in the Southern Rhône to deal with the powerful winds of the area?

Growers of Grenache use bush training or gobelet-style training for their vineyards, keeping the vines low to the ground and minimizing the risk of wind damage.

Syrah, which is more prone to wind damage, will have more supportive trellising systems such as the échelas trellis.


How does the grape variety makeup of Southern Rhône wines differ from that of Northern Rhône wines?

In the Northern Rhône, wines will be made from only one or two grape varieties.

In the Southern Rhône, wines are often complex blends of grape varieties.

Some Southern Rhône wines can be made from more than a dozen grape varieties!


The most widely planted grape variety of the Southern Rhône is ___.

Approximately how many acres or hectares of the Rhône Valley are planted to this grape?

Grenache Noir

Nearly 122,000 acres (50,000 ha) are planted to Grenache Noir.

Compare this to Syrah's 33,000 acres or 13,500 hectares and you can see how prominant Grenache Noir is in the Rhône Valley.


What is the dominant white grape of the Southern Rhône?

Grenache Blanc


What are the grapes of the Southern Rhône's G-S-M blend?

  • G - Grenache
  • S - Syrah
  • M - Mourvèdre


What are some important white grape varieties of the Southern Rhône not shared with the Northern Rhône?

Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Bourboulenc are important grapes of the Southern Rhône that are not widely grown in the Northern Rhône.

While Viognier, Marsanne, and Rousanne are important parts of Southern Rhône white wines, they are found in the Northern Rhône as well.


What are the 2 most important communal appellations of the Southern Rhône located on the Left Bank of the Rhône river?

Tavel and Lirac


What kinds of wines are made in Tavel AOP?

Tavel AOP is approved for dry, still, rosé wines only.

The wines of Tavel AOP are more full-bodied than Provence rosés and are capable of longer aging due to their increased complexity.


What are the main grapes of Tavel AOP wines?

Tavel AOP wines are made primarily from Grenache and Cinsault.


What is the largest appellation of the Southern Rhône?



What was the first winemaking region in the Southern Rhône to achieve Appellation Contrôlée (AOC) status?


Châteauneuf-du-Pape has a unique place in French history as it was the first region in all of France to be granted Appellation Contrôlée status.


How many grape varieties are approved for use in the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape?


  1. Grenache - Noir, Gris, and Blanc
  2. Mourvèdre
  3. Syrah
  4. Cinsault
  5. Counoise
  6. Bourboulenc
  7. Roussanne
  8. Brun Argenté (Vaccarèse)
  9. Clairette - Blanc and Rosé
  10. Muscardin
  11. Picardan
  12. Picpoul - Noir, Gris, and Blanc
  13. Terret Noir


What appellation of the Southern Rhône is known for its famous Muscat-based dessert wine?

Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise AOP

Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise AOC is a fortified wine that must have an alcohol content of 15% or higher and a minimum of 10% residual sugar.


What style of wine is produced in Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise AOP?

The wines of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise AOP are Vin Doux Naturels and are produced as white, red, and rosé. The white is by far the most common.

Red and rosé versions of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise are made using red Muscat grapes as well as the traditional white Muscat grapes.


What large appellation accounts for more than half the entire production of AOP level wines of the Southern Rhône?

Côtes du Rhône AOP


What is the dominant vine training system of the Southern Rhône?

Gobelet, aka Bush trained


What kinds of wines are produced in the communal appellations of Gigondas AOP and Vacqueyras AOP?

Gigondas AOP and Vacqueyras AOP are both known for producing Grenache-based blends in a full-bodied, spicy style similar to Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOP.


What does the term Oeil de Perdrix refer to on bottles of Southern Rhône wines?

Oeil de Perdrix refers to the pale pink or salmon-like color of Southern Rhône rosé wines.

Oeil de Perdrix literally means "partridge's eye."


What are some of the important differences between wines labeled Côtes du Rhône AOP and Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOP?

Côtes du Rhône-Villages AOP will be made from grapes with a higher minimum alcohol level, a more stringent maximum yield on vineyard production, and will have a higher percentage of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre in the blend.


How many appellations are there in the Southern Rhône valley?


From north to south they are:

  1. Vinsobres
  2. Cairanne
  3. Rasteau
  4. Gigondas
  5. Beaumes-de-Venise
  6. Vacqueyras
  7. Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  8. Lirac
  9. Tavel


What styles of wine are made in Rasteau AOP?

Rasteau AOP wines are made as dry, still reds, or as fortified white, tawny (tuilé), rosé, and red styles.

Rasteau AOP wines are mainly made from Grenache, and the red style is the most common.


What characteristics will Grenache-based wines of the Southern Rhône take on during especially hot years?

The usual Grenache flavors of red fruit and spice will be more baked and jammy in especially warm vintages in the Southern Rhône.


What styles of wine are made under the Côtes du Rhône AOP?

While the majority of Côtes du Rhône AOP wines are red, the appellation also allows rosé and white wines to be produced.


Which two cities define the Southern Rhône growing region?

Montélimar and Nîmes


The Southern Rhône accounts for what percentage of the wine produced in the Rhône region of France?