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Côtes du Rhône celebrates Rhône Wine Festival success

Published:  19 February, 2020

The organisers of the Rhône Wine Festival have called for the trade to get involved in this year's event, following the success of 2019.

Côtes du Rhône is set to unite the trade once again this October, with a whole host of events expected to take place in the most exciting restaurants, wine bars and independent merchants in the UK.

Côtes du Rhône with its iconic blends, varied styles and affordable price points has gained a strong following in the UK. The festival is the opportunity to capitalise on its unique position and reach out to new and current Rhône fans.

The 2019 Rhône Wine Festival saw the trade and consumers celebrate the diversity and conviviality of the Côtes du Rhône wine region through bespoke experiences and events dedicated to Côtes du Rhône wines. From creative food and wine pairings and special wine flights, to an exclusive supperclub and Raclette night, the trade embraced the region’s unique style and ethos.

Some 30 independent wine retailers, as well as 27 restaurants and wine bars and Waitrose took part in the 2019 Rhône Wine Festival, with the activation reaching more than one million consumers and trade professionals.

Independent family wine merchant Tanners embraced the festival with a month-long competition as well as a series of Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages tastings across all seven of their branches in Shropshire, Cheshire, Herefordshire and North Wales. The competition saw consumers who purchased a bottle entered into a prize draw to win one of three vouchers, ranging from £50 to £250, to spend at Tanners.

In Scotland, Luvians held free sampling of Côtes du Rhône wines at its St. Andrews and Cupar stores on Thursdays and Saturdays, while a ticketed blind tasting pitted Côtes du Rhône wines against other classic Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre blends from around the world. The bottle shops also carried two high-end Côtes du Rhône wines in their Enomatic system, allowing customers to get a taste of the region’s most prestigious offerings.

Meanwhile, at neighbourhood pub & dining room The Duke of Richmond in London, Raclette was the name of the game. Cheese from Tottenham’s Wine & Rind accompanied a special wine list of Côtes du Rhône.

From Raclette to a one-off three-course French Feast at La Despensa in Spitalfields, where head chef Craig Johnson was inspired by the Southern French region of Côtes du Rhône and each course was paired with a unique wine curated by biodynamic & natural wine importer Dynamic Wines.

In terms of retailer partnerships, Côtes du Rhône organised a competition on the website, giving away six at-home Côtes du Rhône wine tastings hosted by a wine expert from Waitrose. The Waitrose Wine Bar at John Lewis on Oxford Street, meanwhile, saw a Côtes du Rhône takeover across three evenings in October.

The Rhône Wine Festival also embraced the digital world, with several engagements across social media in 2019, including tastings for key wine and lifestyle influencers. The influencers were in turn encouraged to run their own competitions for their followers, with the winner receiving a Côtes du Rhône and Côtes du Rhône Villages wine tasting at home for them and five lucky friends.

Following two successful years, the Rhône Wine Festival will return this October, by popular demand. Organisers are calling for restaurants, wine shops and wine bars who share their love of good wine and good people to get involved.

Côtes du Rhône facts

The Côtes du Rhône vineyards go back to more than 2,000 years and stretch from Vienne (near Lyon) to Avignon in the South of France. Along the Rhône river, Côtes du Rhône vineyards thrive across 171 rich and varied terroirs, all bathed in the same bountiful sun. The vineyards of AOC Côtes du Rhône work in harmony with a single aim: give you the best wines, from growth to blending.

A total of 23 grape varieties are officially included in the appellation. While the climate and the soil impact the vines, the resulting clean condition, finesse, and rich blend are primarily the result of the winemaker’s hard work. The reason behind this hard work? To instill, within each bottle, perfect balance and harmony.

In red wines, Grenache, the main grape variety, brings fruity flavours, warmth, and body. Syrah and Mourvèdre give the wine its spicy aromas, and a colour and structure suitable for ageing. Cinsault adds to the wine’s finesse and is perfect for nouveau wines that are sold in the same year they are harvested and keep rosé.

The white wines blend flavour and freshness by mixing different grape varieties such as Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette and Viognier.