The Rhone Report

The Many Faces of Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Our first visit to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the summer home of the popes in the fourteenth century, was on a gray December day. We had just driven up from Nice for a visit to the vineyard areas of the southern Rhone Valley. We were hungry and decided to have lunch in Chateauneuf because of its location just off the Autoroute. We planned to have lunch at La Mule des Papes in the middle of the village, but the menu looked too pedestrian so we looked around. We found a tiny place, La Garbure, just up the hill from the village square.

ISO: Affordable California Red Rhone Blends

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Recently we were visiting one of our favorite wine bars (our definition of a good wine bar is one offering a diverse range of interesting wines that aren’t the usual suspects found on the shelves at the local Safeway). We got to talking to the proprietor about California Rhone wines. Readers of this column know that we favor blends of Rhone varietals, the model followed in the southern Rhone Valley, as opposed to the varietal paradigm popular in California

Finding Quality Rhone Wines: Read the Back Label!

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

There a lot more Rhone wine producers than most American wine consumers can get the time or opportunity to know. That creates a challenge when considering whether to purchase an unfamiliar Rhone wine. Anyone can learn to recognize some of the most famous (and often expensive) Rhone bottlings.

Lesser Known Rhone Grape Varietal Are Gaining Deserved Recognition in California

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Of the grape varieties traditionally grown in France’s Rhone Valley, most American wine drinkers know only a few. But some of the lesser known Rhone varietals are beginning to get deserved attention from a number of California’s most interesting wineries.

Rosé Renaissance: The Growing Popularity of Rhone Style Pink Wines

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Dry rosé wine has long been appreciated in Europe, especially the south of France. Rosés from the Rhone Valley and elsewhere in Provence have been highly regarded for generations. These rosés are popular with the local cuisine (think garlic, tomato, fish, shellfish, poultry, game, dry sausages, olives, fresh vegetables, basil, etc.), especially during the summer months when a chilled glass is particularly refreshing.

Off the Beaten Path: Wine, Food and Attractions in the Southern Rhone Valley

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

With summer vacation season just around the corner, some wine-interested travelers may want to learn about wine, food and sightseeing highlights in one of our favorite corners of the world – the southern Rhone Valley of France. Specifically, in this column we are focusing on the core of the Cotes du Rhone wine area in the northern part of the department of the Vaucluse, called Haut Vaucluse.

Lessons from the Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting, 2007 Part II

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

Part II: Reds

Last month we presented some lessons we learned from tasting whites and roses at the 2007 edition (March 18) of the annual Rhone Rangers tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco. This month we discuss some lessons we learned from tasting reds.

Lessons from the Annual Rhone Rangers Tasting, 2007

The Rhone Report: About Rhone and Rhone-Style Wines and Winemakers is part of an ongoing series.

We have just returned from the 2007 Rhone Rangers tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco (March 18). This was the 10th annual public tasting organized by the Rhone Rangers (www.rhonerangers.org), an organization of nearly 200 American wineries dedicated to wines made from 22 grape varieties traditional to France’s Rhone Valley. At the San Francisco tasting, about 134 American (mostly California) producers offered tastes of more than 500 wines made with Rhone grape varieties.

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