Wine Wednesday: Vacqueyras AOC

By: Cecily Gamba

Happy Wine Wednesday, everyone! It’s that time of week again for the next stop on our educational adventure through all things Rhône. This week’s topic: Vacqueyras AOC.

Vacqueyras is a wine AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée - a system for defining French products by the region they come from) in the southern Rhône. The wines coming from this region are primary reds, that, when treated correctly, can stand up to wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas. A few whites and rosé wines are produced here as well. The region is located just south of Gigondas, right on the bank of the River Ouvèze. The climate in Mediterranean, and many of the best vineyards sit on steep limestone slopes on the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail.

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Based on records from the 15th century that mention large vineyards and how to ward off hungry grape-eating goats, it can be surmised that wine has been produced in Vacqueyras since then. In 1937, Vacqueryas was included in the Côtes du Rhône AOC, and was quickly promoted to Côtes du Rhône Village status in 1955. By 1990, that wines coming from the area were regarded highly enough to grant Vacqueyras it’s own AOC.

The red wines of Vacqueyras are always 50% Grenache, and a combined 20% Syrah and Mourvedre, by law. Any of the other Côtes du Rhône varietals may also be included, but no more than 10% of each. White varietals permitted include Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, and Bourboulenc. When first trying these wines, look for aromas of small red fruits, that will later develop into spicier notes with age. The best wines are balanced, fresh, and strong yet finessed.

With a full glass of Rhône, cheers to #WineWednesday!

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