Show 473, May 7, 2022: Ventoux AOC, Rhone Valley, France with Jonathan Cristaldi, Wine Journalist Part One

Sommelier and Wine Journalist Jonathan Cristaldi

“The wines of AOC Ventoux in the Rhone Valley of France are made at the foot of Mont-Ventoux, which culminates at 1912 meters, offering a unique freshness and balance. It has been an AOC since 1973. It is the only appellation with vineyards spreading over two Regional Natural Parks. It is also recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve. Ventoux is first and foremost defined by its cooler climate: the influence of the mountain creates a wide variation of temperatures between days and nights.”

It covers some 14,000 acres of vineyards with the resulting wines being 54 per cent Red, 38 per cent Rose and 8 per cent White. There are 150 wineries in the AOC representing private ownership, co-ops and negociants. Ventoux AOC wines are just becoming readily available in the USA and generally represent good value.

“Vines have been grown in the Ventoux area since ancient times; archaeological digs around the village of Mazan uncovered a potter’s workshop dating from the 1st century BC, where the first known wine amphorae in France were produced.”

“The vineyards flourished during the Avignon Papacy, and over the centuries Ventoux wines, alongside other leading French wines, were served to the kings of France at the Royal Court.”

Wine journalist Jonathan Cristaldi is our well-informed guide to Ventoux AOC.

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