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Originally part of Côtes du Rhône-Villages, the village of Rasteau first gained notoriety for its fortified wines, then became more well-known for its red wines. In recent years the unfortified reds have become quite popular. The appellation's vineyards, mostly located in the eponymous village, produce about 15,000 cases of wine per year.


First created as an AOC in 1944, Rasteau originally was a designation for fortified wines only. Producers of the often good unfortified wines had to label their wines Côtes du Rhône-Villages. After a long struggle between producers and the government, unfortified wines in Rasteau were finally legalized in 2010.

Climate and Viticulture

Rasteau's vineyards are located on hilly slopes. The soil is composed of marl and sand; in some vineyards there is an additional layer of small quartzite pebbles.

Grape Varieties

The fortified wines are only made with the three types of Grenache: Grenache, the obscure Grenache Gris, and Grenache Blanc. The best fortified wines are those made in the pungent rancio style. Reds are also traditionally made from Grenache, though Syrah and Mourvèdre are gaining in popularity.

Major Producers

The fortified Rasteaus are generally quite reliable, especially those labeled rancio. The reds, however, are more interesting and heterogeneous. We list five producers currently making top-level Rasteaus.