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 ever so swiftly from the Swiss Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. The region’s physical beauty and luminous light are legendary, and within sight of the Rhône lie some of the finest vineyards and appellations in France: Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and a bevy of Côte-du-Rhône villages that turn out some of the world’s most affordable treasures. All can be found along the mighty Rhône and upon the steep slopes of neighboring Languedoc. A recent trip to southern France has only reinforced my love for this region, but regrettably I don’t get to the south of France as often as I would like, as there are so many other wonderful wine regions to explore and new vineyards worldwide 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? First and foremost, I like them. 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, with or without food. Consequently, one of my quests this past year has been to find more of the Rhône Valley’s hidden treasures along with those little known gems languishing in nearby Languedoc. I invite you to come and taste!