With considerable panache, the village of Rochegude stands guard over its vines, whose fine and fruity wines symbolise the harmony of simplicity.Christophe Tassan
Once upon a time there was… Rochegude, a fortress whose history began, long long ago, on a rocky massif dominating a vast plain, nowadays planted with vines. Originally the village was known as “Roches Aigues” (sharp rocks), then it became “Roche Acuta” in Roman times, which was transformed over the years into “Rochegude”.
One of the high places of Rhone viticulture, the wines it produced were much appreciated by the Romans. The Emperor Domitian mentioned them on several occasions. His steward, Cassius Severianus, to whom he gave the task of reconstituting the Gaulish vineyards, lived there. To this very day, one of the local vines bears the name of “La Cassieuse”.
In the 18th century, the reputation of the local vineyards was boosted by the Marquis of Acqueria, a committed wine-grower who introduced Tinto and Xérès vines of superior quality from Spain. This constant effort to improve the quality of Rochegude wines was rewarded in 1966 by the granting of Côtes du Rhône Villages status.
Implanted in light siliceous soils, the vineyards nowadays produce easy-drinking reds, pleasant, fresh and fruity. They have also established quite a reputation for the production of rosés combining a delicious bouquet of red fruits, raspberry and gooseberry with a refreshing roundness on the palate.
The blends of grapes used in making the appellation’s red wines must consist mainly of Grenache, supplemented by at least 20% of Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. The resulting wines are dense, deeply coloured and well-structured, and will keep for several years. Over time, their ripe fruit flavours develop toasty, more woody notes.
Rosés must contain a minimum of 50% Grenache, accompanied by Syrah and/or Mourvèdre (at least 20%). White grape varieties (Grenache, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Viognier) must not account for more than 20% of the mix. These wines are an attractive deep pink in colour, exhibiting citrus and red-berry fruit flavours.
In the case of Rochegude white wines, the Grenache blanc, Clairette blanche, Marsanne blanche, Roussanne blanche, Bourboulenc blanc and Viognier blanc grape varieties must account for at least 80% of the blend. These are well-balanced, fruity wines, with an attractive, intense bouquet.
The minimum alcohol content for the reds is 12.5%, while for the rosés and whites it is 12%.
Already highly regarded in Roman times (and mentioned in a decree of the Emperor Domitian), the vineyards of Rochegude have continued to produce wines of distinction.
In the 18th century, the Marquis of Acqueria gave fresh impetus to the industry by improving the quality of the vines.
On-going efforts by the wine-growers of Rochegude to improve the quality of their wines were crowned by their being awarded Côtes du Rhône Villages status in 1967.
View the decrees granting appellation status (INAO)1967Birth of AOC Rochegude
The growing area is all in the commune of Rochegude, in the south of the Drôme.
Mediterranean type influenced by the mistral.
Red clays; light, permeable sandstones with some flinty areas
surface area154 hectares
Total production6 015 hl
- 99% Red
- 1% White
Average yield achieved39 hl/ha
*Export figures according to the most recent research
Source : Harvest statement 2016