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The Rhone Valley and its Wines
The Rhone Valley is probably the oldest wine-growing region of France. Vine cultivation in this area dates back to antiquity, being mentioned in historic Roman texts.
Today the region grows a very diverse range of wine grapes, perhaps not surprising given the length of time that different varietals have had to evolve. Likewise, the Rhone Valley encompasses many different appellations along its considerable length. Some, like Chateauneuf du Pape are household names in the world of wine, while others have more humble reputations.
For Rhone aficionados, two appellations with a storied history are the Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu. Let's take a closer look at them both.
Though well-known for producing stunning Syrah, the Côte-Rôtie (pronounced "coat-row-tee") is actually the most northern appellation in the Rhone Valley. It's located 230 kilometers north of the Mediterranean Sea, roughly on the same latitude as Geneva, Switzerland. Despite it's northerly position in the Rhone Valley, the Côte-Rôtie is legendary in the world of Syrah. Many of the world's most famous Syrahs come from this district. Producers like Chapoutier, Guigal and Jaboulet command lofty prices for their wines.