The beautiful Côte-Rôtie vineyard is located in the Northern Rhône Valley wine region, in France. It stretches along the Rhone river. Climate here is moderate continental, with influence from the strong and cold mistral.
Vines are planted on steep slopes, facing south, south-est. It improves sunlight exposure and therefore grape ripening, and offers protection from the wind, that can destroy vines.
Syrah is the only black grape variety planted. Viognier, a white grape variety, can be used as well, as long as it is fermented with syrah, and does not reach 20% of the blend. In practise, it is less and less used.
On the very steep slopes, grapes are grown on terraced vineyards, and trellised on poles called "échalas". Erosion is a constant challenge, rocky walls need lots of maintenance. All the works in the vineyard have to be done by hand, as machines can not go in these areas. Costs of production are therefore quite high.
High production costs, low yield, and demand for this high-quality wines means they usually command premium prices.
If you plan to travel to Côte-Rôtie, definitely stop by the nearby nice city of Vienne!
Lea Gatinois DipWSET