Log In / Join Now

Wine Spectator School

Class 5: Old World Model: France

the rhône valley


Southern Rhône

Although Southern Rhône reds can be blended from as many as 13 varieties, including Syrah, Grenache is the primary grape. The wine is full-bodied and fruity like Syrah, but the tannins are lighter, making it softer and smoother.

The finest red wine of the Southern Rhône is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where the vines grow in soil covered with pebbles. These are deep red, full-bodied, ageable wines with high alcohol levels.

In the rolling hills surrounding Châteauneuf-du-Pape are vast vineyards growing the same grapes for lighter-bodied, fruity Côtes du Rhône and the slightly higher quality Côtes du Rhône-Villages. These wines are meant to be drunk early.

Tavel is the source of France's most famous dry rosés, made from a blend of red varietals that includes Grenache, Syrah and...

Ready to enroll?

First, you must register for a membership to WineSpectator.com. Your membership benefits include:
  • FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School
  • Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes
  • FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are
  • E-newsletters with advance ratings
  • Editors’ blogs
  • Food and wine matching tool
  • And much more
Log In If You're Already a WineSpectator.com Member

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.

Job Opportunity

Wine Spectator is hiring an assistant tasting coordinator at its New York office. Get more details.

Free Email Newsletters—Sign Up

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences


The marketplace for all your wine needs, including:

Wine Storage | Wine Clubs
Dining & Travel | Wine Auctions
Wine Shops | Wine Accessories

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.