Côtes du Rhône Villages
Côtes du Rhône Villages includes wines (white, red and rosé) from 95 different villages in the departments of Drôme, Vaucluse, Gard and the Ardèche in southern Rhône. The Villages areas are very narrowly defined and can extend beyond village borderlines. The Villages wines generally have more depth than the Côtes du Rhône (CDR) wines, and the production requirements are stricter. There is no doubt about the area’s quality consciousness. The average yield of one Villages is 37 hl/ha, for example, even though 45 hl/ha is permitted.
Eighteen villages are allowed to add their name to the appellation Côtes du Rhône Villages because of the distinctive character of the wines they produce. To do so, 100% of the wine must come from the relevant village. They are, in alphabetical order: Chusclan, Gadagne, Laudun, Massif d’Uchaux, Plan de Dieu, Puyméras, Roaix, Rochegude, Rousset-les-Vignes, Sablet, Sainte-Cécile, Saint Gervais, Saint-Maurice, Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes, Séguret, Signargues, Suze-la-Rousse, Vaison la Romaine, Valréas en Visan.
Many Côtes du Rhône Villages wines are fantastic and offer a thoroughly enjoyable drinking experience. In one sense, CDR + Villages + village name is a step in the direction of cru status, one that in past decades has been taken by Gigondas and Vacqueyras, and more recently by Beaume-de-Venise, Vinsobres, Rasteau, and most recently by Cairanne. With the exception of Gigondas and Vacqueyras, cru status applies only to the red wines produced here.