Guide to Cote Rotie - Read about the Northern Rhone Valley
• The Appellation cover three communes - Saint-Cyr-sur-Rhône, Ampuis and Tupin-Semons - on the right Rhône river bank, within the Rhône "département".
• Soils : In the northern part of the vineyard, the Côte Brune, consists of extremely steep, terraced slopes of ferruginous mica schists which are covered with schist sand (arzel).The Côte Blonde has a varied geology with gneiss and granite predominating at the most southern side of the appellation.
• Climate : tempered continental. Dry, hot summers and frequent rainfalls during the other seasons. History : one of the oldest vineyards in France, first developed by the Romans. It is said that during the Middle Ages, "The Seigneur de Maugiron" bequeathed a hillside to each of his daughters, one was brunette and the other fair. Thus, were born the names of "Côte Brune" and "Côte Blonde".
• Area planted : 230 hectares (568 acres), for an annual production of 8,400 hectoliters (93,333 cases). Authorized maximum yield is 40 hectoliters/hectare (2,3 US tons/acre).
• Grape Varieties : Syrah (80% minimum). An addition of up to 20% of Viognier grapes in the crop is allowed.
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