The Rhone wine region of southern France is nestled into the Rhone River valley, stretching from the city of Lyon down to just above Provence.
It makes sense to look at the Rhone in terms of two regions because the grape varieties, terroir and styles from North to South are very distinct. The Northern Rhone is famous for its structured and perfumed red wines made almost exclusively from Syrah. The star white grape here is Viognier, although Roussanne and Marsanne grapes also make appearances in some wines.
The Southern Rhone on the other hand is all about blending and there are a lot of permitted grapes here, including up to 13 for Chateauneuf du Pape. The key players remain Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. There are seven cru and five satellite appellations.