Stretching across 200 km from Vienna to Avignon, the Rhône Valley is home to the largest regional appellation after Bordeaux. The Côtes du Rhône appellation is characterised by astonishing diversity in terms of soils, climates and grape varieties. It stretches over 171 municipalities spread among 6 départements (Rhône, Loire, Drôme, Ardèche, Gard and Vaucluse). The Côtes du Rhône vineyard is comprised of five soil types. Pebbly land with clayey soil, rocky clay-limestone soil and rocky spreading soil (on hillside slopes), which ensure the vines are regularly supplied with water. They are particularly well-suited to making vin de garde wines. Sandy and loessic soils offer a more constrasted water supply. They are better suited to making white and rosé wines as well as lighter reds. Most of the production is vinified into reds, with an increasingly growing proportion turned into rosé and a tiny amount made into whites. Côtes du Rhône reds boast great diversity that reflects the diversity of the region's soils and climates. With its ruby red shade, deeper when Syrah dominates, the nose reveals itself to be delicately fruity, set against a background of red berries. They can sometimes reach the same levels of intensity of some of the greatest wines, with animal or spiced notes and aromas of ripe fruits. These same notes mingle on the palate. Finally, reds from lighter soils (Puymeras, Nyons, Sabran and Bourg-Saint-Andéol) are more fluid than their counterparts made in warmer areas and regions comprised of ancient alluvium soils (such as Courthézon or Orange).
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