The Rhône Valley

The Rhône Valley of France has for many years been one of my favorite wine destinations.  The swift flowing Rhône cuts a fine swath as it descends from the Alps to the Mediterranean.  The region’s physical beauty and luminous light are legendary, and within sight of the Rhône lay some of the finest vineyards and appellations in France.  Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqyueras, and a bevy of Côte-du- Rhône villages that turn out some of the world’s most affordable treasures can all be found along the mighty Rhône.  Sadly, I don’t get to the south of France very often anymore, as there are so many other wonderful wine regions to explore and new vineyards that merit attention.  To compensate for my loss and to remind me of times past, I make sure to drink my share of splendid Rhône wines.  Why?  Because I like them, first and foremost.  Secondly, they conjure the colorful images of Provence and nearby Languedoc that have been indelibly printed in my memory.  And last but not least, year in and year out, the Rhône Valley consistently turns out an abundance of unadulterated wines that people enjoy drinking.  So, one of my quests this year is to find more of the Rhône Valley’s