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February 18, 2016

Cairanne, now a Cru

The village of Cairanne

The village of Cairanne

Cairanne has been officially recognized by the INAO as an appellation communal, or in plainer terms, a cru on par with Gigondas, Vacqueyras and the neighboring village of Rasteau. Starting with vintage 2015, wines made within the boundaries of this village will now be labeled Cairanne instead of the less fashionable and more difficult-to-fit-on-a-wine-list, Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Cairanne.

The hillside vineyards of Cairanne in winter

The hillside vineyards of Cairanne in winter

The Syndicat des Vignerons de Cairanne applied for this status in 2008 and as late as 2014 Romain Roche mentioned the last sticking point in finalizing the new status was the drawing of the official borders of the new appellation. This is understandable as Cairanne covers three distinct terroirs: sandy silt soils close to the river Aygues, red clay and gravel on the plateau above the river and the paler, rocky, limestone soils on the slopes of a range of hills from the same geologic period as the Dentelles.

The rocky plateau of Cairanne, also call the Garrigue

The rocky plateau of Cairanne, also call the Garrigue