Everything You Need To Know About The Northern Rhône Valley

The Northern Rhône Valley is widely regarded as one of the best wine regions in France. In contrast to the Southern Rhône Valley, The Northern Rhône is much smaller, measuring about 2,836 hectares. The area starts in the north at the city of Vienne, roughly 30 kilometers south of Lyon, and ends around the city of Valance, around 80 kilometers south.

 The region of Northern Rhône is actually relatively small, especially compared to Southern Rhône. Southern Rhône produce 95% of all the wine in the Rhône Valley. The Northern Rhône Valley produces only 5% of the Rhône’s overall wine yield. [1]

Northern Rhône’s Appellations

The most famous and well known of the the Northern Rhône appellations are St-Joseph, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, Cornas, Hermitage, and Crozes-Hermitage. Northern Rhône makes their red wines from Syrah, and a small amount of white wine from Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. Northern Rhône red wines are full-bodied, earthy, and powerful wines.

Did You Know: The red wines produced in this area are marked by dark fruit flavors, peppery notes, and sometimes a unique meat smell.

Climate and Soils

The Northern Rhône wine region is warm and sunny, with a Mediterranean-like climate. The region’s soil is rich in minerals but chalky with very low organic matter. Northern Rhône wines are mostly made from the red grape variety, Syrah (or Shiraz); it’s planted on around 70% of all hectares across about 95% of all vineyards in Northern Rhone.

Alcohol Levels 

If you compare wine regions, it’s not uncommon to find that one area’s average contains more or less alcohol than another. For example, on average, Northern Rhône has higher levels of alcohol than some other areas in France. 

Also read:

Exciting Things Happening in This Region

The region is one of France’s greatest wine treasures, but many people have yet to taste it. But those who have discovered its myriad charms know that they have found something truly special. It is a place where ambition meets traditional values and passion runs through every vine. See more articles here

Want to read more? Try these books!

The Wines of the Northern Rhône Northern Rhone 2024 (Guides to Wines and Top Vineyards Book 11)


[1] https://www.thewinesociety.com/discover/explore/regional-guides/rhone-ultimate-guide

2 https://vinepair.com/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-cotes-du-rhone/

3 https://www.thewinecellarinsider.com/northern-rhone-wine-producers-cote-rotie-hermitage/

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