Covering the wines’ route that stretches along the Rhône from Lyon to Languedoc and Provence’s borders is not only an oenology journey through one the most prestigious vineyards, but also an historical trip in the heart of the oldest French vineyard. It also nearly stands as an ethnologic approach of vine growers, who have shaped the landscape and passed on their know-how since the Ancient world, while creating a unique lifestyle and gastronomy. The vine, clung to the slopes or stretching out on alluvial and shingle lands, cannot be separated from the river. Its wines, red, white or rosé, are joined into two great appellations: the “Côtes du Rhône” and “Rhône Valley” labels of origin. In fact, every “terroirs” and “vintages” ought to be mentioned to show the great diversity of these wines from the Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Languedoc Roussillon regions: château-grillet, condrieu, cornas, côte-rôtie, crozes-hermitage, hermitage, saint-joseph, saint-péray, beaumes-de-venise, châteauneuf-du-pape, gigondas, lirac, rasteau, tavel, vacqueyras, vinsobres, clairette-de-bellegarde, costières-de-nîmes, côtes-du-vivarais, luberon, grignon-les-adhémar, ventoux. Over the last decades, the Rhône vine growers have won back their vineyard’s spurs: their wines are exceptional vintages.
A message that has been passed on by a dozen of prestigious chefs and their wine waiters: Patrick Henriroux, La Pyramide, Vienne; Jacques Bertrand, Les Cèdres, Granges-les-Beaumont; Michel Chabran in Pont-de-l’Isère, Anne-Sophie Pic in Valence; Guy Jullien, La Beaugravière, Mondragon; Christian Etienne in Avignon; Raoul Reichrath, Le Grand Pré, Roaix; Eric Sapet, La Petite Maison, Cucuron; Michel Kayser, Alexandre, Nîmes ; and Guy Savoy in Paris. All were invited to disclose in this book their favourite wines from the Valley of Rhône and their associated recipes.