The vineyards of the southern Rhone Valley stretch from Montélimar to Avignon in the Drôme, Ardèche, Vaucluse and Gard departments.
It is planted on both sides of the Rhône river from Donzère to the mouth of the Durance, on hillsides and plateaus at various altitudes.
The surface area of this vineyard is 71,000 hectares for an average production of 2,840,000 hectoliters per year, the equivalent of 380 million bottles of red, rosé and white. This represents nearly 90% of the production of the entire Rhone Valley.
From Montélimar to the south of Avignon, and around the city of Orange, the vineyards of the Southern Rhône Valley are located in the departments of the Drôme (26), the Ardèche (07), the Vaucluse (84) and the Gard (30). This wine region is delimited by the reliefs that border it: the Ardèche plateau with its garrigues to the west, the sub-alpine ranges of the Baronnies and Ventoux to the east, the Alpilles massif to the south and the Luberon to the southeast, which forms the limit with the Provencal vineyards.
The typical Mediterranean climate in this wine growing area is very dry and well influenced by the Mistral wind, which favors organic or biodynamic agriculture. The proximity of the mountainous massifs such as the Mont Ventoux, the Dentelles de Montmirail or the Luberon moderates this climate by bringing more humidity to the vine.
The terroirs of the Southern Rhône Valley are complex. The vines planted on hillsides or on plateaus blossom on three types of dominant soils: the first is clay-limestone, the second is made up of pebbles rolled by the Rhone (emblematic of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC) and the third is made up of sandy slopes.
The main grape varieties used by the winegrowers are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan, Roussanne, Marsanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Viognier. These grape varieties are complemented, according to each appellation, by many other grape varieties.
The most famous appellation in this wine region is without question the AOC Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Each AOC or AOP presents elegant and fine wines with a strong character, such as Côtes du Rhône, Beaumes-de-Venise, Clairette-de-Bellegarde, Costières-de-Nîmes in the Gard, Coteaux du Tricastin, the wide range of Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages, Côtes-du-Vivarais, Gigondas, Grignan-les-Adhémar, Lirac, Côtes du Luberon, Muscat-de-Beaumes-de-Venise, Rasteau, Rasteau Rancio, Tavel, Vacqueyras, Côtes du Ventoux and Vinsobres. Of the 95 communes that make up the Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages appellation, 38 of them can add their name to the "villages" label, thus enhancing their terroirs and local know-how.
This renowned wine region with its multiple charms is also ideal for the development of wine tourism within the properties and wine estates.
As in Provence or Languedoc, this Mediterranean vineyard was planted by the Greeks in the 5th century BC. Then developed in terraces by the Romans, the vines of the southern Rhone valley supplied the Roman Empire until its collapse.
Taken in hand by the abbeys and monasteries, the vineyards of the Rhone Valley then regained their splendor.
If the elaboration of wine has always been historically linked to the activities of the monks, the Rhone Valley has also had the imprint of the pope. From the 14th century, the popes installed in Avignon started the planting of the first pontifical vineyard and built the castle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They produced red and white wines and also planted Muscat grapes which spread to the Comtat Venaissin, today the territory of the Vaucluse and Drôme departments.
The Rhone Valley vineyard is now the second largest in France in terms of volume of AOC wine produced.
If in the south the southern Rhone Valley represents nearly 90% of the region's wine production, in the north, the northern Rhone Valley is no less illustrious for its appellations, its vineyards and its prestigious wines that radiate well beyond France.
Along the Rhone River from Vienne to Valence on about 4,700 hectares, the vineyards of the northern Rhone Valley extend over a wide variety of terroirs on steep hillsides structured in terraces. The climate is both more temperate and wetter than in the south.
A single grape variety used in red: Syrah. For the white: Marsanne, Roussanne, and of course Viognier which, when vinified as a single variety, gives body to Condrieu, which in our opinion remains one of the most fabulous white wines in the world.
The 8 notorious appellations that make up the Northern Rhône Valley are AOC Côte-Rôtie, AOC Hermitage, AOC Crozes-Hermitage, AOC Condrieu (white wine only), AOC Saint-Joseph, AOC Château-Grillet, AOC Saint-Péray, and AOC Cornas. Some particularities of these appellations: Château-Grillet is produced only on the 4 hectares of vineyards of the eponymous domain. Condrieu produces only white wines exclusively from the Viognier grape variety.
The red wines are powerful, smooth and elegant and often have good ageing potential. The white wines, including the white of Condrieu, have an extraordinary aromatic diversity combining minerality and freshness, from violet to honey, apricot and peach.
Selling a wine property, a vineyard or a wine estate in AOC Côtes du Rhône, Châteauneuf du Pape, Rasteau, Tavel, Vacqueyras, Gigondas, Lirac, or in the Luberon, which extends over 185.The first thing that BLUE SIDE does is to establish a relationship of trust between the seller and BLUE SIDE in order to present the buyer with a detailed and reliable wine project which, beyond the selling price, will be the basis of a satisfactory transaction for both parties.
If the average price of a vineyard in France is around 55,000 euros, the prices of the Côtes du Rhône vineyards are very disparate. Depending on the appellation and the terroir, they can range from 20,000 euros to more than one million euros per hectare of vineyard.
The AOC appellations of this wine region being numerous and each one carrying a strong identity, as well as for its wines as for their marketing, the investor or future winegrower will have first to concentrate on the specificities of the targeted vineyard: which AOC or AOP, interest of the IGP, which specifications, which viticultural and vinicultural production tool, to produce red, white or rosé, in organic or conventional viticulture, which marketing channels, which priority investments: in the cellar or in the vineyard,?
Then, taking into account the wine tourism appeal of the region, BLUE SIDE will evaluate the potential of the property for the buyer, first by its geographical location, then by the presence of buildings of character, a castle, a farmhouse, a bastide, possibly exploitable in guest rooms, hotels or receptions (stays, weddings, seminars, receptions, ...) or oenotouristic activities (visit of the cellar, visit of the vineyard, wine tasting, initiation to oenology, ...).
BLUE SIDE's mission is to make projections and to accompany its clients' projects, in addition to its technical expertise in the wine industry and its knowledge of the specificities of wine estate transactions.