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  • This is one of the most unique wine growing areas of the southern Rhone Valley of France. Located near Avignon, this region was historically linked to papal activity.
  • Although wine was likely produced in this area for more than 1,000 years, wine production didn’t really start to expand outside of this area until the 18th century due to transportation and conservation limitations.
  • Unlike its neighbors to the north, the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation allows for 13 different varietals to be grown here. Although, in order to be classified as a wine from this region, the majority of the juice must be from Grenache.
  • The appellation of Chateauneuf-du-Pape include nearly 8,000 acres under vine and approximately 320 wineries.
  • With nearly 13MM bottles of wine produced annually, almost all of which is red, somewhere around 1-2MM bottles per year are of a white varietal. Rose wine is not permitted to be produced in this appellation.
  • Maybe best known for its interesting soil (see inset picture). The round stones in some of the vineyards of this area are called “galet”. The rocky soil, while making all agricultural processes incredibly difficult, allows for increased heat in the vineyard and a faster and more-complete ripening of the fruit. Sunlight bouncing off these stones increases the heat and quickens the photosynthesis process of vines planted in these soils.
  • Most of the grapes grown in this area are Grenache, However, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Roussanne, and a collection of dozens of other lesser-known varietals are grown in this appellation.

Côte de Nuits

  • Located just south of Dijon, the Cote de Nuits is possibly the preeminent wine region in the world, if you simply rank the world wine regions by the cost of their wine. Divided into two geographical regions, Northern and Southern.
  • Generally coupled with the Cote de Beaune to create the Cote d’Or, the Cote de Nuits contains famous villages like Morey-St.-Denis, Gevrey-Chambertain, Fixin, Marsannay, Macon, and the appellations of Pouilly-Fuisse, and Maconnais.
  • World famous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown and produced here among the nearly two dozen Grand Cru vineyards.
  • Running north to south from Dijon to Beaune, this special place was created over millions of years due to the seabed deposits left on this fault line. Soil heavy with calcium and with the proper southern exposure, the perfect example of microclimate was created for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Aligoté to be grown.
  • The Grand Crus of Montrachet produce some of the finest examples of dry white wine in the world.
  • Nearly 2,000 years ago, this region was the northern most area of Europe to cultivate wine grapes. But it wasn’t until the 12th century when Cistercian and Benedictine monks starting judging and rating one cru from another based on mesoclimates and soil makeup.

St. Emilion

  • Located 22 miles east of Bordeaux France, St. Emilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the premier winemaking areas of the world.
  • Named for the Breton monk Emilion (d. 787), who settled in this area in the 8th century and, the monks who followed him, founded commercial wine production in this area.
  • Located within the region known as the Right Bank of Bordeaux, on the eastern bank of the Dordogne Valley, grapes have been grown and wine has been made here for over 1,200 years.
  • Wine made here is typically higher in alcohol and less dry than their neighbors in Medoc due to the high Cotes protecting the region from the northerly and westerly winds.
  • Merlot and Cabernet Franc are the primary varietals grown in this area due to the lesser effect of the ocean climate, and the damper, cooler soils.
  • St. Emilion wasn’t included in the Bordeaux classification in 1855 and wasn’t included in this important classification until 1955.