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The appellation of Cote-Rotie, centred around the village of Ampuls south of Lyon on the western shore of the Rhone river, is a mere 230 or so hectares, yet amongst the most revered sites for Syrah, or Shiraz, anywhere in the world.  The steeply terraced plots on the sun-drenched hills surrounding the village of Ampuls produce concentrated, ethereal wines capable of long-term ageing.  The mean, infertile soils are a mix of schist, mica, quartz and decomposed granite, and climb sharply from the western bank of the Rhone river.unknown.jpg

Alongside the Syrah, the white variety Viognier is often co-planted.  More famous in the neighbouring commune of Condrieu, many producers include a small amount - typically between 2 and 10% - in with the Syrah, co-fermenting them, and giving an aromatic lift and delicacy to the wine.

Cote-Rotie is an appellation that will forever remain tiny - a mere 320 hectares of land is the maximum possible for viticulture - yet some of that is economically unviable, and the 230 hectares in production are shared amongst more than 50 growers.

Amongst the two most famous climats - the Cotes Brune and Blonde - there are numerous named vineyards or lieu dits, the most famous being La Landonne, Pavillon Rouge, La Turque, Grandes Places, Le Clos and many others.

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