Rhône wine-growing region is the oldest and most important in France. An area of about 60,000 hectares is cultivated. 95% of the grown vines are red vines of extraordinary quality. The most important variety is the Syrah. Besides, Grenache, Mourvédre, Cinsault and Carignan are popular in Rhône. Grown white vines are Viognier, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Rousanne and Bourboulenc.
The red wines are dark red, rich in alcohol and tannins, and heavy. The white wines, on the contrary, are light, fruity and sprightly.
In the northern part of the Rhône the climate is continental with cool dry north winds and warm dry summers. The southern Rhône valley is almost mediterranean and, consequently, produces varieties typical for South France.