Created by the Allobroges, and then developed and structured in terraces by the Romans, the Côte Rôtie winery is amongst the oldest in France. Planted on steep, sun-soaked hills, the Côte Rôtie vines produce a red vin de garde which is warm, full-bodied, robust wine. Bitter and dark when young, these wines become more accessible and develop a rich, complex bouquet with age. Production is dominated by two grape varieties: Viognier and Syrah. Côte Rôtie wines, often considered to be amongst the best Côtes du Rhône wines, consist mostly, or even totally, of Syrah. The Côte-Rôtie appellation (AOC) allows it to be combined with Viognier to a maximum of 20%. Some Côte Rôtie enthusiasts like to make the distinction between wines from the Côte brune and those of the Côte blonde according to the location of the vineyards. The brown is more full-bodied and ages more slowly, whilst the blonde is more delicate. Can be seen on leaving Vienne, right bank of the Rhône - towards Ampuis / List of producers available at the Vienne & Pays Viennois tourist office. Tours of the winery are organised for groups: Tour department / Vienne & Pays Viennois tourist office.
Key facts of Côte-Rôtie AOC
- Le Côte-Rôtie wine is always red
- Côte-Rôtie has been a registered designation of origin since 1940
- The AOC contains 73 listed locations.. It numbers over 100 producers and 70 bottlers (see all winemakers )
- The vineyard is located to the south of Vienne, on the slopes of the right bank of the Rhône, just under 20 miles south of Lyon. Almost all of the vines are planted on metamorphic rocks
- Côte-Rôtie is the northernmost Côtes-du-Rhône cru (the northernmost in the Rhone Valley)
- The predominant grape variety is Syrah, supported by Viognier up to limit of 20%