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Rhone Valley Wines

The Rhône Valley is a law unto itself. We don’t mean this in a tearaway, rebellious way; we mean it in the way that it is gloriously unaffected by the outside world. It is a rock, it is an island. Actually it’s a valley, and arguably the least faddish wine producing region in the world.

Why, you ask, is this a good thing? Well, *pulling ourselves up in our seats*, it doesn’t need to change. The Rhône Valley is 150 miles long and is split into two discernible halves, which have very different climates (continental in the north, Mediterranean in the south), geographies (steeper and granite-based in the north and sandier and eventually flat in the south) and grapes and, within these two halves, lie innumerable microclimates: all of which conspires to offer a bounteous diversity of wines. Put simply, it’s got it covered.

You probably don’t need telling about the big boys, like Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côte-Rôtie, but you might not know that Rhône’s more lowly classifications, such as AOC Côtes du Rhône, offer some of the best value, sub-£10 wines in Europe. Made with grapes from any of the Rhône’s 171 communes, AOC Côtes du Rhône reds can offer weighty, black fruit, warm spices and garrigue flavours and are perennially reliable. If you like Aussie Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre (an adopted Rhône blend), then you need to get the southern Rhône in your life. As for their whites, if you’ve ever fancied Turkish Delight and delicate spring blossom, in a dry, full-bodied, waxy wine, this is the place to go.

So, hold onto your hats everyone: our revolutionary message is that the Rhône Valley ain’t broke and doesn’t need fixing, so if you’re after failsafe, guaranteed, tasty goodness, this is your man.

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