Gigondas: Celebrated Rhône Crus Now Acclaimed for Its Reds and Whites

By | 16 June 2024


Gigondas is one of the most prestigious of the Rhône crus (the average bottle price in France for Gigondas is €18), and there’s a very interesting development here that people in the region are excited about: as from 2023, Gigondas can be white as well as red! Just 1% of its surface area is planted to white grapes, but this will surely grow, and the first releases of these whites look very promising indeed. [See my review of the first Gigondas Blanc wines here.]

The appellation is 5 km across, and is quite diverse. In more or less the middle, we find the famous limestone outcrops, Les Dentelles de Montmirail, which stick out and act as a sort of emblem for the region. These were formed by faults resulting in the uplift of old limestone. There are almost 1200 hectares of vines in Gigondas.

So we have varied terroirs. The largest area is the plateau, which has colluvial deposits from the mountains, both mineral and organic. Then by the Ouvèze river, there are more alluvial soils. Around the village, there are sandy layers. And at the top of the mountain we have pure calcareous soils. Add into this a topology with different elevations and airflows, and we have microclimatic differences.

There are some 50-60 lieu dits, and some producers focus on this climat approach while others like to blend.

In this series of articles, I’ll be tasting a lot of Gigondas wines, looking at the new whites (made for the first time in 2023) and visiting some producers.

Here’s a really good film showing the terroir of Gigondas:


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