Rhône Blend

Rhône blend refers to the grapes traditionally from the Rhône region of France, these varieties are now planted throughout the world. The only grape variety permitted in the Northern Rhône (Rhône septentrionale in French) is Syrah. Hence this term ‘Rhône blend’ will not refer to wines from this area - such as the wines of the most prestigious appellations, namely Hermitage and Côte Rôtie.

For the white wines of the Northern Rhône, the accepted varieties include Viognier, Marsanne and Rousanne, however their use is dependent on the appellation. For Côte-Rôtie, it is commonplace to blend all three varieties, whereas for the wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet only Viognier is permitted. Marsanne and Roussanne are used for the whites from Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint Joseph, and Saint Péray.

The Southern Rhônes most famous appellation is Châteauneuf-du-Pape  where 13 grape varieties are permitted. These include -  for red: Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Piquepoul Noir, Syrah, Terret Noir, and Vaccarèse (Brun Argenté). For white and pink varieties: Bourboulenc, Clairette Blanche, Clairette Rose, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Picardan, Piquepoul Blanc, Piquepoul Gris, and Roussanne.

Most other wines of the Southern Rhône contain a blend of grapes.  There is four times more Grenache than Syrah grown here, whilst there is a large amount of other permitted grapes.  Typically growers are only blending with Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. For whites the most planted grape is Ugni Blanc.


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