After visiting the Wine Road of Burgundy in the first part of the road trip : We were staying in Lyon for fews days before taking the road again to the Rhone Valley.

Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole

The Rhone Valley is a very large wine region, where you could fine little and big wines along the river that runs through the area.
This wine-growing region is so big, in wine education they talked about it in two parts : the north of the valley and the south of it (after the city of Valence).
The wines are a differents in the two area because of the climate and the altitude of the parcels of vines.

The Rhone Valley starts few kilometers in the south of Lyon : it’s 30 minutes drive to arrived in Ampuis, the famous village where you find Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie wines.

So we start the beggining of the road-trip by a stop to this famous place.

The “Côtes rôties” are red wines made from Syrah. While the “Condrieu”  are powerful whites made from Viognier. This variety is very particular and is the reputation of this appellation.
This white grape which is the reputation of Condrieu has the defect of being very easily heavy and not refreshing. But here the climatic and geological conditions are met to give the best of itself. And it is for this reason that the appellation is famous throughout the world.

The peculiarity of these appellations is to be located along the Rhone on the very steep slopes of the hills that overlook the city below.

From the top of the vineyards the landscape is breathtaking and offers us a magnificent view over the valley where the Rhône winds its way.

Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole
Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole

The beginning of the road trip : Ampuis, AOC Condrieu et Côte Rôtie

The weather in August was ideal to visit the region: the sun and some clouds in a turquoise blue sky accompanied us throughout our visit to the south.

This part of the roadtrip was also much more interesting for the wine tasting than the first part in Burgundy where many winemakers were absent.

In Condrieu and Côte-Rôtie it is Domaine Barou and Domaine Georges Vernay, both in organic farming, who were pleased to receive us to discover the wonders of Viognier and Syrah grown and vinified in single varietals .

The vines of these two AOCs have the particularity of not being conducted in the same way as elsewhere: they are rolled during their growth along two intersecting wooden poles that are called “échalas”.

This method is rather striking and rather aesthetic in the middle of the landscape!

Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole

Second stage of the Rhone Wine Route : Tain l’Hermitage

Continuing further south, it is a new Grand Cru emblematic of the Rhone will be one of our next steps.

Tain l’Hermitage is home to the Hermitage Hill, whose most prestigious Rhône wines are named after them.

All around is Crozes-Hermitage, Saint-Joseph and further south Cornas and Saint-Peray. These appellations of the northern Rhone Valley are very popular with lovers of good red wines, but also white, less known but really good !

Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole

Third step : The South of the Rhone Valley, Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, Lirac…

It is in Orange that we put our suitcases for some time, just to enjoy this part of the region that offers a wide choice of appellation and very different styles of wine.

Indeed the Côtes du Rhône north are now behind us, and Orange offers a place of choice to shine in the heart of the Southern Côtes du Rhône region.

Thus a few kilometers alongside: Châteauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Lirac, Vacqueyras, Sobres wines, Beaumes de Venise, Tavel …

What to fill our days (and the back seat of the car 😉 ).
The back country is fill with vineyards and olive trees, and we walk in the fields under the ubiquitous crickets singing.

In the summer some areas even organize parties with ephemeral bar and food truck in the middle of vineyards: this is the case of the Domaine des Arnaud, where the two brothers succeeded their father to maintain the family estate.
The peculiarity of the estate is that it has never used pesticides and chemicals in its plots of vineyards and olive groves. They have never stopped being organic since the beginning.

Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole
Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole
Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole

After having traveled the roads of this beautiful region and encountered among the best organic and biodynamic winemakers in the region (Domaine Vallot, Domaine de la Ferme des Arnaud, Château Juvenal, Domaine de Beaurenard, Domaine Montirius, Domaine du Joncier, … just to name a few…).

Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole
Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole
Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole
Route des vins du rhone road trip viticole

It’s time to take you to Bordeaux for the third stage of this Road Trip!