August 31, 2022

Try Wine from the Rhône Valley in France

The Rhône Valley in France is well known for its massive production of high-quality red, white, and rosé wines. It almost seems like nature sculpted the valley into the perfect place to grow a wide variety of quality wine grapes. Dating back to the Ice Age, a glacier later named the Rhône Glacier carved its way across the land, making what would become the Rhône River and the Rhône Valley. 

Now, the valley has two halves with different climates and grape varieties used to make wine today. So much wine of such high quality has been produced by the northern half of the valley alone, that it has become a location for wine pilgrimages.

But what do Rhône Valley wines taste like, and what makes them special? Get ready because after learning about this wine, you’ll want to reserve a spot for the Rhône Valley wine tasting at Cork Bar & Restaurant.

The Wines of Northern Rhône

The parts of the valley north of the Rhône River don’t produce as much wine as the south. Both value quality, but they have a different level of importance for quantity. Wines from the north are developed in a chillier climate and steep hillsides that don’t leave as much room for vineyards as in the south. 

Because of this, Rhône Valley wine from the north specializes in four grape varieties:

  • Syrah
  • Viognier 
  • Marsanne
  • Roussanne

These grapes are used in red, white, and rosé wines shipped all over the world. The grapes used in their red wines are beloved for being fruity, sweet, and spicy. 

The Wines of Southern Rhône

The southern portion of the Rhône Valley has a very different climate compared to its northern counterpart. It’s a place where the summers are long, and the winters are mild which allows them to grow more grapes, create wines, and do so for most of the year. This has led to Rhône Valley wine from the south producing quality wines in large quantities. 

The grapes used in the south of the Rhône Valley have more variety than the north. These include:

  • Cinsault 
  • Counoise 
  • Grenache Blanc 
  • Marsanne
  • Syrah 
  • Carignan 
  • Roussanne 
  • Bourboulenc
  • Clairette

Like the grapes of Northern Rhône, these are also used in red wines, whites, and rosé wines. Because the difference between the types of wines is how much skin they include in the fermentation, many of the grapes are good for all three. While technically, any grape can be used to make any type, not all grapes taste equally good as different wines. This is another way the grapes of the regions are special.

When Were the First Rhône Valley Wines Made?

Historians believe that wine production in the Rhône Valley dates back all the way to 600 B.C. with the ancient Greeks. Being the wine lovers they were, it’s possible they brought the ancestor of the popular wine grape, Syrah, to the area. This would have led to grape breeding and cultivating which created the grapes and wines we have today.

While they were the first because the Greeks abandoned the area for hundreds of years, there’s reason to believe that their grapes aren’t the ancestors of the ones vintners use today. The Syrah grape is the main reason we think it might be the Greeks, but the many other grape varieties don’t have as strong a connection. It’s possible that the Syrah grape is native to the area as well.

Instead, it might actually be the Romans who brought the Viognier to the region and created most of the grapes utilized in the region. 

Come to Our Rhône Valley Wine Tasting on Sept 13th!

On Tuesday, September 13th, at 7:00 PM, we’ll be having a wine tasting for popular red and white wines from this French region. Taste some of the best French wines you can get, and try them alongside other wine lovers like yourself. It’s a one-night-only event, so special reservations are required. Please call (570)-270-3818 to reserve your spot.

If you want to have wine with your friends and/or family over a normal dinner, you can make a reservation online.