Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Rhône, one of the most important wine rivers, linking a range of vineyards as dissimilar as those of châteauneuf-du-pape in southern France, sparkling seyssel, and Fendant du Valais in switzerland.

In wine circles, however, the term Rhône usually means the fashionable wines made in the Rhône Valley in south east France which themselves vary so much, north and south of an almost vine-free 50-km/30-mile stretch between approximately Valence and Montélimar, that they are divided into two very distinct zones (although the regional appellation Côtes du Rhône encompasses the less ambitious wines of the north as well as a large area of the south). The Rhône regularly produces more appellation contrôlée wine than any region other than Bordeaux, about 80% of the 2.5 million hl/66 million gal produced in 2013 being red and usually high in alcohol relative to other French wines.