Discovering the appellations
Saint Joseph : This is an appellation of the Northern Rhône Valley. The INAO officially recognized this appellation in 1956. This vineyard with steep hillsides produces red and white wines. The main red grape variety is Syrah and for the whites Roussanne and Marsanne are grown. The red St Joseph wines are renowned for their elegance, suppleness and aromatic complexity. Indeed, Syrah can bring to the wines notes of undergrowth, fruity notes as well as spicy or licorice notes. The profile of the white wines of the appellation is more confidential. The fatness and roundness take over the vivacity and we find aromatic notes of honey and flowers.
Cornas : Cornas is another also a cru from the Northern Rhône Valley. Cornas means "burnt earth" in Celtic. This AOC was officially recognized in 1938 and covers about 115 hectares. Syrah (the exclusive grape variety of the appellation) is grown on terraced hillsides. Cornas wines are renowned for their long ageing potential (between 20 and 30 years) as well as for their powerful and robust structure. On the nose, we generally find notes of truffles and undergrowth tending towards black fruits, notably blackcurrant.
Crozes - Hermitage : From the north of the Rhône Valley. The creation of the AOC Crozes - Hermitage dates from 1937. 1300 hectares of vines produce red and white wines. Like the other appellations of the northern valley, the dominant red grape variety is Syrah. Syrah is commonly referred to as "the queen of the northern valley". The grape varieties used for the whites are Roussanne and Marsanne. The white wines account for only 10% of the total production of Crozes-Hermitage wines. The red wines produced in the south of the appellation are generally aromatic with a good structure and medium aging. The reds from the north have more consistent ageing potential and more structure. The white wines show vivacity and intense bouquets of fresh fruit carried by citrus notes.
Rasteau : Appellation of the southern Rhone Valley, Rasteau is an AOC recognized since 2011. The main red grape variety of the appellation is Grenache. Syrah is the complementary grape variety. Other grape varieties such as Bourboulenc, Carignan, and Cinsault can also be blended with Grenache and Syrah. Rasteau wines are known for their black or red fruit aromas (raspberry, blackcurrant) with hints of licorice and spices. They have a good aging capacity and a strong tannic structure.
Lirac: Officialized in 1947, the Lirac AOC allows the production of red, white and rosé wines. The main red grape varieties are Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah. The same main grape varieties that are used to make rosé wines. The grape varieties for white wines are Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc, Clairette and Roussanne. The red wines are renowned for their ageing potential and their aromas of red or black fruits and spices with notes tending towards leather. The rosés are fresh with red fruit aromas. The appellation produces mostly rosés de saignée (vinification method). The white wines are rather ample in the mouth, with a floral aromatic bouquet and notes of white fruits and garrigue.
Champagne: It is the wine par excellence to celebrate events! It is in 1936 that the INAO delivers the AOC Champagne. The vineyard counts about 34000 hectares nowadays and produces white and rosé Champagne. The wines are obligatorily elaborated with a second fermentation in bottle (it is the Champagne method). Champagne sells more than 300 million bottles each year of which more than 50% are exported (mainly to the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom). Champagne pairs well with a variety of dishes and delicacies, but can also be enjoyed on its own like any other wine."