From the hills of Corbieres to the Pyrenees mountains, Cotes du Roussillon (10) is the sunniest region in France. The climate, the history and the traditions of Roussillon make it more similar to Spain than to Languedoc. This is maybe the reason why Roussillon wines are still fighting to find an identity.

Cotes du Roussillon is one of the less selective AOC’s in the Roussillon region. In 2002, 21,048,500 litres of Cotes du Roussillon were produced, 68% red, 28% rosé and 4% white.
Cotes du Roussillon wines are made with the tradional variety grapes of the Roussillon, that is Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Carignan, Lladoner Pelut, Cinsault, Macabeu and Malvoisie and with some new to the region variety grapes: Syrah, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Marsanne (all from Côte du Rhone) and Vermentino (from Italy).

Grenache is the dominant variety in Red and Rose. According to the AOC rules, red wines must be made with at least three variety grapes. The total of the two main variety grapes should not make more than 90% of the blend, and there must not be more than 60% of Carignan in it.
Cotes du Roussillon Villages label is granted to 25 villages along the Agly river, just south of Corbieres. Cotes de Roussillon Villages produce only red wine. They are typically stronger than wine from the Cotes du Roussillon and express the most of their sunny terroir.

Grand Roussillon is an appellation for sweet wine from 89 Roussillon villages. The appellation does not include the sweet wines from Banyuls, Rivesaltes and Maury which each deserve their own appellation.

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