Côtes du Vivarais

The vines draw their sustenance from the Plateau des Gras, carved in two by the spectacular gorges of the Ardèche river...

  1. "Terre de lumières, riche de tant de couleurs. Autant de nuances que de combinaison de notes musicales possibles. Le vin chante la nature. La nature chante le vin. Melodies gustatives et sensorielles"
    Christophe Tassan

    Sommelier and Rhone Ambassador

    Produced in the southern part of the Ardèche, in a bucolic setting where vines rub shoulders with olive trees and holm oak (ilex), Côtes du Vivarais wines reflect their terroir: rugged and warm-hearted. The vines draw their sustenance from the Plateau des Gras, carved in two by the spectacular gorges of the Ardèche river, in the undulating landscape of the Grands Causses.

    Eroded for more than 15,000 years by underground watercourses, the ground conceals a wealth of subterranean wonders: caves, avens (chasms) and bubbling springs… The Aven d’Orgnac, one of the largest natural cavities in the world, was declared a Grand Site de France in 2004.

    Concerned to safeguard these wonderful gifts of nature, and always striving for quality, the wine-growers of the Côtes du Vivarais invite you to discover their warm and generous wines…

    Grape varieties




    The grape varieties used in making Côtes du Vivarais AOC wines are as follows. Reds: Grenache and Syrah; rosés: Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault; whites: Clairette, Grenache blanc and Marsanne.

    The appellation’s red wines are characterised by black-berry-fruit and spicy flavours, fairly robust tannins and a pleasing freshness. Their character derives from the Grenache grape, which provides structure, while Syrah adds a more spicy note. The different vintages vary in terms of colour (deep red, purple) and flavour.

    The fresh rosés, made from the same grape varieties as the reds, are a deep pink in colour and have persistent flavours, thanks to the presence of Grenache.

    The Marsanne and Grenache blanc varieties gives the appellation’s whites a surprising freshness and mineral quality.

  2. History

    There is evidence that vines were grown in this area between the Rhone and the Cévennes by the Gaulish Helvien tribe, more than 2000 years ago. However, viticulture did not develop on a large scale until the Middle Ages.

    At the end of the 16th century, Olivier de Serres, the father of modern agronomy, praised the wines of the Vivarais as being “so precious and delicate that there is no need to seek elsewhere”. The many hardy grape varieties grown in the area, resistant to diseases and frost, ensured that local production was abundant and a sound economic proposition.

    In the early 20th century, the growers banded together to establish cooperative wineries, which still continue to process the bulk of the crop. In the late 1950s, a handful of growers took up the challenge of improving the quality of their wines. The vineyards were replanted with “noble” varieties suited to the character of the soil: Grenache noir and Syrah for reds, Grenache blanc and Marsanne for whites.

    The hard work of the Ardèche wine-growers resulted in their wines being awarded the Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS) appellation in 1962. Then in 1999, their talents and persistence were rewarded when Côtes du Vivarais wines were granted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status.

    View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)

    1999
    Birth of AOC Côtes du Vivarais
  3. Geography

    The Côtes-du-Vivarais AOC vineyards lie on the Plateau des Gras, on either side of the Ardèche gorges, at an altitude of 250 metres. The official growing area extends over 14 communes, nine of them in the Ardèche and five in the Gard département.

    Climate

    Mediterranean with a continental tendency, influenced by the mistral.

  4. Soils

    Shallow marls or limestone. An abundance of stones, which absorb the heat of the sun, ensure that the vines benefit from early warming in springtime, while at night they continue to enjoy the warmth stored up during the day.

  5. Key Figures

    Production
    surface area

    220 hectares

    Total production

    9 712 hl

    Colours

    • 52% Red
    • 6% White
    • 42% rosé

    Average yield achieved

    44 hl/ha

    *Export figures according to the most recent research

    Source : Harvest statement 2016