Like Girondas, Vacqueyras (± 390 hectares) was classified as Côtes du Rhône in 1937, as Villages in 1955, and added the name of the municipality in 1967 before acquiring cru status in 1990. The vineyards are situated in the western part of the Massif des Baronnies, at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, in the municipalities of Vacqueyras and Sarrians.
The terroir in the foothills of the Dentelles consists primarily of chalk, marl and sand. The wines grown here are usually somewhat more sophisticated and delicate. The region produces deliciously fruity rosé and white wines. However, both are scare, accounting for less than 5% of the total production. Towards the l’Ouvèze river (the plains) the soil becomes richer in clay and contains more chalk, sediment and alluvial material. The wines produced in the plains are generally robust and muscular, with a high concentration of dark fruit, varying from black cherries to preserved figs as it ripens. As a rule, the red Vacqueyras has less aging potential (five to seven years on average) than the nearby Gigondas wines.
The maximum permitted yield of 36 hl/ha is relatively low here as well. The portion of grenache noir should be at least 50%, while syrah and mourvèdre can account for no more than 20%. The other approved Rhône varieties (which now also include carignan) can make up no more than 10% of the blend. This allows for a wide diversity in character.
Of the total production, 50% is still processed by the cooperative, which provides 130 farmers with an income. There are also three négociants active in the region. Only a minority of farmers are able to make an independent living from wine growing.