Fiery yet welcoming, Roaix is home to characterful wines with a flinty edge and an elegantly rustic balance.Christophe Tassan
This small wine-growing area is in the northern part of the Vaucluse, bordering on the Provencal département of Drôme. Covering 450 hectares, it produces an average of 4,000 hectolitres of wine each year. The vines grow on the slopes, sharing a hillside with the more prestigious Rasteau appellation. Roaix wines are full-bodied and well-structured, but at the same time they have an amazing freshness. A part of the growing area has spilled over into the plain and is visible from the road. Here the reds are easier drinking, and this is the preferred terroir for whites and rosés, although only in very small quantities. The soil in this area is light and sandy. On the slopes, it is a mixture of rolled pebbles, and red and grey clay.
To get to the area, take the scenic road leading to the Dentelles de Montmirail and, when you reach the village of Rasteau, branch off to the right. It is worth the journey to see the breath-taking hilltop villages of Séguret and Sablet…
The appellation’s still red wines must include more than 50% of Grenache Noir grapes and a minimum of 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, with other varieties making up no more than 20% of the mix. In flavour, they are redolent of fruits such as peach and apricot, developing leather and truffle notes as the years go by. These wines age exceptionally well and can be kept for more than ten years.
Rosés must contain at least 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah and/or Mourvèdre, and no more than 20% of other grape varieties. White grape varieties (Grenache, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier) must not account for more than 20% of the mix. Made by the saignée method (running off juice during red wine production) or by pressing, the appellation’s rosés will keep for between two and four years.
In the composition of AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages white wines, Grenache blanc, Clairette blanche, Marsanne blanche, Roussanne blanche, Bourboulenc blanc and Viognier blanc make up more than 80% of the blend.
The minimum alcohol content for the reds is 12.5%, while for the rosés and whites it is 12%.
Roaix lies on the “tin route”, which passed through the Rhone Valley during the Bronze Age. A burial site from this period bears witness to the early settlement of the area.
In the 12th century, the Knights Templar established a commanderie (commander’s residence) at Roaix and developed viticulture hereabouts. When the order was dissolved, Roaix became a papal possession, which gave a further boost to its wine industry.
The Roaix-Séguret wine cooperative was founded in 1960, the most recent in the Vaucluse. Roaix was granted the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation in 1967.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1967Birth of AOC Roaix
Tucked in between the Rasteau and Séguret growing areas, the vineyards lie in the commune of Roaix, in the département of Vaucluse.
Mediterranean type influenced by the mistral.
Clayey limestones, comprising the stony terraces of the Ouvèze and slopes of decalcified red clay.
surface area143 hectares
Total production5 058 hl
- 97% Red
- 2% White
- 1% rosé
Average yield achieved35 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016