Rhone Wine Tours

What is often referred to in shorthand as 'the Rhone' consists of two distinct regions, the Northern Rhone and the Southern Rhone, and I deal with them separately here.

Northern Rhone wine tours

Northern Rhone
Some thirty kilometres south of Lyon, the Rhone carves its way through granite, forming steep, unforgiving slopes which loom over its turbulent waters: this is Wagnerian country. There is something about an austere Nature that brings out the best in the vine for here there are wines of serious quality. Reds (syrah only) from the Cote Rotie and Cornas; whites (viognier, marsanne, roussanne) from Condrieu, Chateau Grillet and St Péray. With the continental climate of harsh winters and warm summers, great wines are made. Given their undoubted quality, it is odd in the extreme that these wines have been largely ignored for so long, so well organised wine tours may well introduce you to some hidden gems.

 Northern Rhone Wine Tour Basics

  • 160 kms from Vienne in north to Valence in south
  • Wine area never more than 10 kms wide
  • Vines established by the Greeks, continued by Romans; northern Barbarians destroyed the lot. Reinvigorated by church and royalty in Middle Ages
  • Key tasting words: acacia, honey, apricot, cut hay, petrol, almond (whites); leather, pepper, tobacco, liquorice, sandalwood, truffle (reds)

Southern Rhone...