I’ve been asked by a few customers about which grapes are part of the Rhone varietals and which one’s are not. Truthfully, I do enjoy Rhone’s moreso than most people do, so I should have probably written this up some time ago and yes, these end up in our wine clubs probably more often than they would in our competitors.
To come up with this list, I followed the basic outline put forth by the French and the 13 grapes that are allowed in Chateau du Pape and the 22 varietals which are part of the Rhone Rangers, a trade group that protects these varietals here in California.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this Rhone varietals list is that a few of these grapes are the real workhorses behind the world wide wine industry. Both Grenache and Carignan are planted in wider regions and in greater numbers than are their more famous competitors, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. But, most wine drinkers don’t know the first thing about either Grenache or Carignan.
Red Rhone Varietals List (Yes, varietals = grapes):
Petite Sirah: One of the first grapes to be created in a lab, it still came about by accident. Now basically extinct in its birthplace of France, Petite Sirah exists in relatively small numbers everywhere it is planted. It has a home in California, a smaller one in Australia and interestingly, increasing plantings in newer regions like Washington and Israel.
Common Rhone Red Wine Blends: The most common, is the GSM blend. Depending on the wine region, you’ll have a different
White Rhone Varietals List:
Muscat Blanc & Petite Grains:
Common White Rhone Blends: