Rasteau

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Rasteau is a parish in the southern Rhône Valley, located roughly 15 miles (24 km) northeast of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The village and its vineyards are perhaps best known for their sweet red vins doux naturels, but they also produce dry wine (red, rosé and white). For a long time, the parish's dry wines were made under the Côtes du Rhône Villages Rasteau appellation but these highly regarded wines were promoted to full, independent AOC status in July 2010 and are now also sold as Rasteau.

Rasteau itself is located on the banks of the Ouveze river (a tributary of the Rhône), just northeast of the town of Orange. The climate here is Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers bringing excellent ripening potential to the Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes used in the production of most of its high quality red table wines. Mourvèdre in particular requires a hot, dry climate to fully ripen, as does Grenache. These two grapes are rarely found north of Montelimar, which marks the boundary between the northern Rhône and the hotter southern Rhône. Syrah, on the other hand, prefers the coolest of Rasteau's mesoclimates, as it is more susceptible to heat damage. The other red grapes that are permitted are those of a standard Côtes du Rhône red wine blend.
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