Rhones Valley: where French wines originate
Rhones Valley, located in southeast France between Lyon and Provence, is the place where French wines originate. The production area is a long, narrow valley with a length of about 200 kilometers. Due to the differences in climates and the soil, the production area is subdivided into the north zone and the south zone. The climate is windy and dry in the north, which quickens the maturing pace of grapes, and there are four legal grape varieties like Syrah. The climate in the southern Rhones Valley is more close to that of the Mediterranean, where there is plenty of sunshine and rainfall, and also cold, dry wind. There are thirteen legal grape varieties, such as Grenache and Mourvèdre. Here the grape wine with the highest content of alcohol is produced.
The wisdom of the local producers makes wines from Rhones Valley always distinct from others. Instead of Bordeaux wines’ high praise for oak barrels, they hardly use new oak barrels in wine producing, and the time period that wines are stored in oak barrels is short. People in Rhones Valley think that their wines are born to be fine, and they do not need the relish of oak barrels. This confidence makes it the second biggest production of grape wine in France, following only Bordeaux, and the second best brewing district in the world. The wines that it produces are mostly red wines, which accounts for about 90% of the total volume. A.O.C. stands for the top class of French wines, and among every four bottles of AOC wines that France exports, there is one that comes from Rhones Valley.
China: a market that cannot be missed
Generally speaking, Chinese consumers are not very familiar with wines from Rhones Valley. According to the statistics from French customs, Bordeaux made up 76.3% of French wine export to China, while wines from Rhones Valley only account for 4.9%.
In fact, Rhones Valley is an up-and-coming youngster in China’s imported wine market. Its entering into China market on a big scale occurred in year 2009. During the first a few years of its development in China, it saw a great market prospect: the speed of its increase in sales volume exceeded 100% almost every year.
Also, Rhones Valley has held many propaganda activities, including introducing conferences and tastings. Rhones Valley thinks that its major comparative advantage is its cost performance.
Nowadays, famous Rhones Valley wine brands like Saint-Joseph, Hermitage, Crozes Hermitage, Chateau Grillet and Condrie are slowly gaining fame. In year 2011 only, Rhones Valley made a total sales value of 12.43 million euros in China, and China for the first time exceeded Japan to become Rhones Valley’s biggest market in Asia.
Credit Photo: Baidu Oushinet