To us a visit to this attractive village with its panoramic view is a must, just as tastings in the well-stocked Caveau de Vignerons to follow the dynamic growers. Our favorite domaines include domaine Raspail-Ay, domaine Saint Gayan, and domaine Les Palliéres which was bought by the Brunier brothers (domaine du Vieux Télégraphe), when Pierre Roux retired.

Underneath the spiking Dentelles and the ruined chateau, used as a hunting lodge by the Princes of Orange in the 17th century, you find the attractive, compact, little village of Gigondas, which was rewarded with its own AC in 1971. From here you have a staggering scenic view over the Ouvéze plain. Most of the appellation land is now planted with some 1.200 ha under vine. The Gigondas rules permit only red or rosé from saignée, base yield including 35 hl/ha. Maximum permitted Grenache Noir includes 80%, the Syrah and Mouvédre together or separately constitute minimum 15%, while Cinsault and Clairette are allowed to make up 5% maximum. However, since the rules apply to the vineyard and not to the contents of the vats, proportions vary widely in the finished wines.

It is from the middle slope (some 300 m above sea level) that Gigondas is said to draw its finesse and guiding structure, while the partly sandy, partly stony plain around the river Ouvéze is supposed to supply the wines typical robustness. The steepest hillsides (up to some 500 m), which are tucked against the Dentelles, help to balance out the high alcoholic content of the wine. Variations in style occur as a result of cellar treatment and variations in vineyards. The wine is always sold simply as Gigondas followd by the name of the growers domaine. Climats are not stated. Once bottled, Gigondas needs a further 2-3 years to develope harmony between its bouquet and strong flavour. The ideal ages to drink Gigondas are generally between five and 10 years. Gigondas is always a wine of great depth and colour, one of the best and deepest red wines of the southern Rhone. Bright summerdays are not ment for drinking Gigondas, although more elegant styles with smoother tannins for early drinking are available.