“Terroir” studies in the Côtes du Rhône controlled appellation: from zoning to application

This work gives a summary of the most important programmes about viticultural « terroirs », developed on the « Côtes du Rhône » controlled appellation area for about twenty years.
The global plan is organized in 3 stages :
The first one regroups different characterisations of « terroirs » diversity ending at zoning : maps of topography, climatology, geology, soils and landscapes.
The second one includes some experimentations to evaluate the effect of terroirs on vine behaviour and on grape and wine composition. Different vine networks are controlled for several vintages to evaluate vine behaviour of the principal red cultivars of the region.
The third stage groups some actions for professional applications of « terroir » studies at different scales. At scale of cooperative winery, the knowledge of « terroirs » are principally used with the aim of improving the management of harvest selections. The practical actions at regional scale are leaded in order to protect the unique and irreplaceable « terroirs » and landscapes of « Côtes du Rhône ».

Authors: Begoña RODRIGUEZ-LOVELLE (1) and Francis FABRE (2)

(1) Service technique, Institut Rhodanien, 2260 route du Grès, 84100 Orange, France
(2) Maison des vins, 6 rue des Trois Faucons, 84000 Avignon, France

Emails: b.rodriguez@syndicat-cotesdurhone.com; f.fabre@syndicat-cotesdurhone.com

Keywords: zoning, Côtes du Rhône, cooperative winery, practical application, harvest selection

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