Popular Destinations in Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes

More information on Southern Rhône

The Southern Rhône region of France is a mecca for wine lovers, boasting some of the country's most famous appellations, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Vacqueyras. Located in the southeastern corner of France, the region spans from the foothills of the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, covering a wide range of terroirs and microclimates that contribute to the diversity of wines produced. The history of winemaking in the Southern Rhône dates back to the Roman era, and today the region is home to many family-owned wineries that continue to produce high-quality wines using traditional methods.

Wine tourism is a popular activity in the Southern Rhône, with many wineries offering wine tastings and wine tours to visitors. One of the unique aspects of wine tourism in the region is the opportunity to visit historic cellars and caves, some of which date back hundreds of years. Many wineries also offer food pairings with their wines, allowing visitors to sample local specialties and gain a deeper understanding of the region's cuisine. Another popular activity is hiking or cycling through the vineyards, taking in the stunning scenery while learning about the region's winemaking traditions.

Which food to taste in Southern Rhône?

The cuisine of the Southern Rhône is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean, featuring an abundance of fresh seafood, vegetables, and herbs. Local specialties include ratatouille, bouillabaisse, and pissaladière, a savory tart made with caramelized onions and anchovies. The region is also famous for its olive oil, which is used in many dishes and can be sampled at local olive mills. During wine tastings, many wineries offer food pairings with their wines, showcasing the best of local cuisine and providing a memorable gastronomic experience for visitors.

Which wines to taste in Southern Rhône?

Wineries in the Southern Rhône are known for their red blends, which are typically dominated by Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre grapes. Other grape varieties that are commonly used in blends include Cinsault, Carignan, and Counoise. The region also produces white wines, with Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier being the most common grape varieties used. The soil types and microclimates of the region contribute to the diversity of wines produced, with each appellation offering a unique flavor profile, which wine lovers will have the opportunity to appreciate during various wine tastings.

Which is the best season to visit Southern Rhône?

The best time to visit the Southern Rhône for wine tastings and wine tours is during the fall harvest season, typically from September to November. This is when the vineyards are at their most vibrant, and visitors can see the grape-picking process in action. Many wineries also offer special events and tastings during this time, making it an ideal season for wine tourism. However, the region can be visited year-round, with each season offering its own unique charms.

What things to do in Southern Rhône?

Southern Rhône offers many attractions and activities for visitors. In addition to wine tastings and wine tours, you can explore the historic cities of Avignon and Orange, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites. You can also visit the Pont du Gard, a well-preserved Roman aqueduct, or the Luberon Natural Park, which offers hiking and outdoor activities. For a unique experience, you can take a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards, or visit the Lavender Museum in Coustellet to learn about the history of lavender cultivation in the region.