While we may refer to the Rhône Valley as if it were one region, it is in reality two - the Northern Rhône and the Southern Rhône. They are quite distinct in character in almost every respect, and are indeed separated by a good hour's motorway driving. In the north, the climate more closely resembles that of Burgundy; other aspects are also similar - there are a great many small producers, working alongside a handful of famous négociants (best known are Chapoutier and Guigal). In addition, the wines of the north are made largely from a single grape variety (Syrah for all the reds; Viognier for Condrieu; and Roussanne and Marsanne for the other white appellations).

In the south, the climate is markedly hotter, bearing a much closer resemblance to the Languedoc and other distinctively Mediterranean regions. The wines are mostly blended from a number of varieties - as many as thirteen in the case of Châteauneuf du Pape. The whole character of the south, with its heat, wind (Mistral) and dust conjours up an atmosphere much more akin to the Mediterranean basin than to northern Europe. Châteauneuf itself, dominated by the ruins of the great medieval papal fortress, epitomises this in every respect. In both north and south, we concentrate largely on the wines of individual domaines, where we believe the most distinctive styles are made.

Domaine de l'Ameillaud

Since 1983 this 50 hectare estate has been run by Devonian Nick Thompson together with his wife Sabine, grand-daughter of the estate’s founder, Albert Rieu.  All the fruit is hand-picked and then de-stemmed prior to fermentation in concrete vats (now increasingly back in fashion).  This is a terrific source of extremely well made and remarkably inexpensive wines which represent outstanding value for money.  The domaine's buildings, just outside the village of Cairanne, are most attractive, and include two newly restored and very comfortable looking gîtes which are let to visitors.

Ameillaud 3


2012 Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, Domaine l'Ameillaud
 12 Bottles
A blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Carignan and 10% Syrah. Very deep colour. Lovely ripe strawberry fruit, really vibrant on the palate. Juicy, balanced and long. 

See other Regions:

All Regions >

Rhône >

See other Wines:

All Wines >