Cotes du Rhone-Villages

Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC is a distinct step-up in quality from wines labelled 'Côtes du Rhône.' The Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC is entirely in Southern Rhône and is less than 20% the size of 'Côtes du Rhône.' As typical of the region, red wines account for the majority of wine produced, and must comprise a minimum of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah and a maximum of 20% can be made up of the remaining 10 varieties permitted in the region.

There are 4 tiers of AOCs (wine quality levels) in the Côtes du Rhône. At the bottom, the 'entry-level' is Côtes du Rhône AOC, a step up is Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC (lower yields, slightly higher alcohol and ideal for cellaring) and at the top is Côtes du Rhône (named) Villages AOC, which will have the name of the village where the wine originates. The entirety of the wine must come from said village for the label to adorn its name. There are 18 villages in all which are permitted to declare their names on the label. At the top of the pile is 'The Crus' which are the 18 small subregions which best highlight their terroirs. They're made in tiny quantities and only account for a mere 20% of the Rhone's output. Most famous are the likes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC, Gigondas AOC, Crozes-Hermitage AOC and Hermitage AOC

The region's history is long and rich, dating back to the 4th century BC when Greeks brought wine to the area.
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