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The Rhône Valley stretches from Vienne in the north to Avignon in the south. According to the varietal composition and diversity of the climate, the area is traditionally divided into Northern Rhône and Southern Rhône. AOC Rhône is famous for its complex red wines, but also it produces aromatic white, rosé and excellent sparkling and sweet wines.
The Northern Rhône is made up of a strip of steep hilly vineyards, has a continental climate and it's considered the birthplace of the powerful Syrah. The wines from the north are either varietal (Syrah is the only black grape) or blends using only few allowed varieties (such as Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne).
The Southern Rhône, flatter and warmer area, is much richer in cépage. A dozen varieties are grown here and are traditionally blended for local wine production.
The best known region of Southern Rhône is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras, which wines, with typical pepper aroma, are mainly made of Grenache, in addition to Syrah.
Since 2012, Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are allowed to be made of up to 18 authorized varieties.