Côtes du Rhône is a region wide appellation within the Rhône Valley in eastern France. It applies to red, rosé and white wines, and includes more than 170 villages. The zone follows the course of the Rhône river southwards for 125 miles (200km) from Saint-Cyr-sur-le-Rhône to Avignon. A small proportion of the appellation's wines are white. However the classic Côtes du Rhône wine is a fruity, middleweight red blend based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre.
The Côtes du Rhône appellation was introduced in November 1937. Its purpose was to provide a catch-all title for good quality Rhône wines from the valley's lesser known and less prestigious viticultural areas.
Cotes du Rhone
The Cotes du Rhone landscape
It does not hold the prestige of the Rhône's more famous names (Châteauneuf, Cote Rotie, Hermitage). However, the Côtes du Rhône title has risen to become one of France's most popular and famous.
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