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Nyons newest named Côtes du Rhône Villages

The area of Nyons in the southern half of the Rhône Valley has been announced as the newest ‘named’ Côtes du Rhône Villages.

Nyons’ elevation was approved by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) on 15 October, making it the 22nd named cru in the Côtes du Rhône.

The growing area covers 300-350 hectares spread across the communes of Nyons, Mirabel-aux-Baronnies, Piégon and Venteroln in the Drôme department on the eastern bank of the Rhône close to the AOC of Vinsobres.

The application to be considered a named cru was begun back in 1998 and while the appellation has much to recommend it, including many hillsides and a good mix of soils (predominantly clay-limestone and limestone gravels), there were little tweaks that needed to be made before the claim could be approved.

Chief among these was a replanting of some Grenache with more Syrah because there was not enough (it has to be at least 25% of the final blend). The other main grape in the area is Mourvedre with small additional amounts of Cinsault and Carignan.

The new appellation only covers red wine production though white and rosé wines are also produced there.

The new classification can be used for wines from this year’s vintage with yields capped at 41hl/ha.

Incidentally, the town also has a strong tradition of olive growing and was granted protected geographical indication status for its black olives and olive oil back in 1994.

The village of Nyons is famous too for the Pont de Nyons (pictured), built in the early 15th century which spans the River Aigues – a small tributary of the Rhône – and which at just over 40 metres long was quite large by the standards of the day.

The five most recent villages given named status were; Côtes du Rhône Villages Saint Andéol (2017), Côtes du Rhône Villages Vaison-la-Romaine, Suze-la-Rousse and Valréas (2016) and Côtes du Rhône Villages Gadagne (2012).

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