AOP Rasteau

History

Vines have probably been growing in Rasteau for 2000 years.
The oldest known source is from 1414, and here is listed 30 ha. with a yield of 6 hl/ha. 
The first declaration is from 1817 (premières déclarations de récoltes). Here is listed 360 hl. from 60 ha. 
The production rose rapidly until the vine pest (Phylloxéra) arrived in 1870. It was not until 1905 that the production was at a level like before 1870.   
In 1925 60 vinegrowers and merchants founded the co-operative.
In 1935 the co-operative started to experiment with a sweet wine, and took the initiative to the new appellation Vin Doux Naturel Rasteau.

1937: Wines may be named Cotes du Rhone.
1944: Vin doux Naturel Rasteau gets its own appellation.
1966: Wines from Rasteau may be called Cotes du Rhone Village Rasteau.
2002: Request for the rank CRU is sent to INAO.
2010: Rasteau

Rules of the appellation Rasteau

The appellation Rasteau includes only red wines. Producers who before 2010 have made rosé or white wines with the name Cotes du Rhone Village Rasteau must in the future name such wines Cotes du Rhone. The names can also be used for red wines from parcels inside the Rasteau appellation if the producer wants that (young wines or pour vintage).

AOC / AOP Rasteau may be made from approved parcels in Rasteau commune.

The total area of the commune is 1881 ha (18,81 km2), of which around 1200 ha. is planted with vines.
The altitude of the commune differs from 117 to 336 metres

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The allowed grape varieties are divided in 3 levels of importance: cépage principal, cépages complémentaires og cépages accessoires 
(When you talk about an percentage of varieties, this percentage refers to the planted varities in all the vineyards of a property - not the percentage of the varieties in the different wines.)

Cépage principal: Grenache must count for at least 50%.

Cépages complémentaires: Syrah and Mourvedre
must together count for at least 20% and max. 50%.

Cépages accessoires: are grapes alllowed for AOC Cotes du Rhone, including also white varieties, which must not exceed max. 5%. Cépages accessoires may totally
may not exceed 15% and includes the following varieties:  Bourboulenc, Carignan, Clairette (Blanc and Rose), Counoise, Grenache (Blanc and Gris), Marsanne, Muscardin, Piquepoul (Blanc and Noir), Roussanne, Terret Noir, Ugni Blanc, Vaccarese and Viognier.

The level of alcohol must be at least 12,5% 

The yield may not exceed 38 hl./ha.

Declared area and yield 2012-2016

Vintage 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Hectares 887 938 895 926 949
Hectoliter 30299 26824 34119 33541 33494
Source: http://www.syndicat-cotesdurhone.com

Links

The producers of Rasteau are organized by Syndicat des Vignerons de Rasteau
Web: http://www.vins-rasteau.com/

The 22nd March 2010 the syndicate started what probably will be a new tradition Rasteau Festival Millésime 2009. The new vintage was presented by nearly all producers of Rasteau.
In recent years it takes place in January.

14 August every year Nuit du Vin. Photos from this event in 2014

At the touristoffice Bienvenue Rasteau you can buy wines from 30 (2018) producers priced as at the domains.

Rasteau Vins Doux Naturel

  

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Update 03-02-2018