Perfect Climate for Grenache

The Rasteau appellation is located north of the Vaucluse and covers an area of ​​0.50 square kilometers in Rasteau, Cairanne, and Sablet, north of Avignon. Its vineyards are, along with the neighbor of Beaumes-de-Venise, the most northerly to produce natural sweet wines, in southern Rhône wine area, France.

But it is located on hillsides facing south, with a typical Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild winters. Also, the mistral, very present in the region, plays a vital role in slowing and prolonging the grapes’ maturity by its cold currents from the north during the summer. Plots dedicated to the production of sweet wines are located on sandy-clay hills. With its climate and soils, the Rasteau vineyard produces grapes concentrated in sugar, which have reached a high level of ripening.

Traditional Wine Making Since the 1300s

To obtain the mention Vin Doux Naturel (VDN), all the wines of this AOC must undergo mutage, a process initiated by Arnaud de Villeneuve in the 13th century, which consists of stopping the alcoholic fermentation of the must by a supply of vinous alcohol to 96 ° minimum. This traditional operation makes it possible to preserve the sugars better and enhance the natural aromas of Grenache. This grape variety is unique for this appellation and grown in old vines (50 to 90 years old).

Natural Sweet Wines

The AOC Rasteau produces 130,000 liters a year of the best quality of sweet wines, declined by the following mentions: “garnet”, “ambré”, “white”, “rosé” or “tuilé”. They are wines with a harmonious and persistent mouth, with a very pronounced aroma of candied or cooked fruits, prunes, and raisins, evolving from vinification to apricot accents, warm spices, and quince, or honey. Reds and amber have better aging potential and improve with age. It should be noted that the quality of the Rasteau vineyards and its terroirs makes it possible to produce still red, rosé, and white wines classified as AOC Côtes-du-Rhône.


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A part of important features of Rasteau appellation for sweet red wines are as follows:

  • Soil: Sandy-clay.
  • Taste: Well balanced and fine.
  • Wine color: Red.
  • Aromas: Candied or cooked fruits, prunes, raisins.
  • Aging potential: 2 – 4 years.
  • Serving temperature: 14 to 16° C

A part of the important features of Rasteau appellation for sweet rose wines are as follows:

  • Soil: Sandy-clay.
  • Taste: Balanced.
  • Wine color: Rose.
  • Aromas: Fruity.
  • Aging potential: 1 – 2 years.
  • Serving temperature: 11 to 12° C

A part of the important features of Rasteau appellation for sweet white wines are as follows:

  • Soil: Sandy-clay.
  • Taste: Fine.
  • Wine color: Golden color.
  • Aromas: Fruits and flowers, honey, and woody.
  • Aging potential: 2 – 3 years.
  • Serving temperature: 8 to 10° C

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Region Highlights

Surface: About 0.5 Square Kilometers
Classification: AOP Rasteau
Grapes: Grenache noir, Grenache gris and Grenache blanc.
Types of Wines: White Wine, Rose Wine, Red Wine

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