Northern Rhone

Definition - What does Northern Rhone mean?

The Northern Rhône region is known for being the land of Syrah and for its steep hillsides. They are terraced in order to keep the soil from eroding and to retain the warmth of the sun. Syrah is the only red variety permitted in the AOC wines of the region. Other vineyards grow Viognier, Marsanne and Roussane.

WineFrog explains Northern Rhone

Northern Rhône stretches 40 miles long, with vineyards lying on both sides of the Rhône River between Avignon and Vienne. This subregion makes about 5% of all the wines from the entire region.

Some of its recognizable AOCs are:

  • Côte Rôtie - It's name translates as "Roasted Slope" and its vineyards are in some of the steepest land in all of the country. This is where Syrah thrives in the granite soils and the intense sun. This is also where some of the more expensive Syrah wines are made.
  • Château Grillet and Condrieu - These appellations are known for the best Viognier.
  • St. Joseph - is the largest AOC of the North, where Syrah, Roussanne and Marsanne are grown. Compared to robust and bold wines of Côte Rôtie, the wines here are more delicate with floral notes and warm spice.
  • Crozes-Hermitage - Not to be confused with the famous AOC Hermitage, this AOC makes wines of Syrah, Marsanne and Roussanne sought after by collectors.
  • Hermitage - Home to a Syrah worth aging and white wines that were desired by the noblemen and women of Russia, this region overlooks the historic village of Tain-l'Hermitage.
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