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Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Rhône Right Northern Rhône Right St-Joseph

Similar to Crozes-Hermitage and Cornas, St-Joseph is a northern Rhône appellation whose high-quality Syrah-based red wines can be found for reasonable prices. While not cheap, the wines of this appellation are much less expensive than those of Hermitage. St-Joseph's wines take after those of Hermitage, with similarly rich though less deep flavors. They are often drunk early, as they do not require aging to be complex and balanced.

With about 2,200 acres under vine, the appellation is second to Crozes-Hermitage in the northern Rhône in terms of planted size. The St-Joseph vineyards produce 600,000 cases of wine each year; white wine production is miniscule.


Older than Hermitage itself, the St-Joseph region has been making wine for centuries. The wines have been well-known since the 15th century, when King Louis XII commended them as his favorite. However, in the 1800s St-Joseph was overshadowed by Hermitage. The region received its AOC status in 1956, originally for red wines only. In the 1970s regulators made two important decisions: to expand the appellation's size, and to allow white grapes.

Climate and Viticulture

Most of the best vineyards of St-Joseph are located on slopes; usually made up of gravel, these slopes are reminiscent of those of Hermitage. In general, flavors of the wines produced here are Hermitage-like, although usually much less complex. However, due to the appellation's size, inferior soil areas also exist.

Grape Varieties

Since 1979, it has been legal for producers to make white wines from Marsanne and Roussanne here. These grapes make flowery, fruity, rather rich white wines, and generally add a floral element when blended into the reds. Reds are made up of at least 90% Syrah, the famous grape which only a few miles away (in Hermitage) makes the wines that many consider to be its best. Rich, full of black fruit and pepper flavors, and with amazingly thick textures, these very complex wines can be drunk young or given 10-20 years to mellow out.

Major Producers

Despite the appellation's large size, it is considered extremely reliable, almost as much as Hermitage itself. Seven leaders are listed here, but these are by no means the only good producers.


St-Joseph does not have any official subregions.