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Northern Cotes du Rhone Map

Explore a region of fine, lesser known wines of the Cotes du Rhone


Our map shows the Rhone River and the wine regions and towns you'll find along it, by train or by car. The region is easy to reach as a day trip from Lyon.
cotes du rhone map, cotes du rhone wine region

The Cotes du Rhone Map showing the north Cotes du Rhone region and wine growing towns.

James Martin
Starting in Vienne, which is built around Roman ruins along the Rhone river, you'll get off the train (or out of the car) and explore the Roman Theater, the second largest in France, the Augustus and Livia Temple dedicated to the Roman cult of Augustus, and the Roman neighborhood ruins at Cybele Garden. The tourist bureau near the Rhone river will give you a map for a well-marked walking tour. While you're there, you'll want to take a little walk around the adjacent park and see the section of Roman road with its characteristic worn track that still remains near the banks of the Rhone.

Vienne is a good place for lunch, but there are more opportunities in Valence, later on.

After your walk, head back to the train station, where you'll buy a ticket to Valence unless you're really set on exploring my favorite French wine region, the Hermitage, in which case you'd get off at Tain l'Hermitage and go exploring. In any case, you'll see the legendary Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage vineyards off to the left of you as you get near to Valence. They're on steep slopes, and signposted with the names of the famous wineries.

The first famous vineyards you'll see coming from Vienne (and some of France's oldest) are of the Côte Rôtie, the "roasted slopes." Viognier and Syrah grapes are planted here, in vineyards started by the Romans.

Then you'll pass vineyards planted in viogner--the 105 hectares of Condrieu. Chateau-Grillet comes next, the only appellation in France that consists of a single winery! Just in case you're thinking that a bottle of the white would be a treat, they usually go for well over $100.

On the right side of the train as you near Valence, you'll come across the Cornas vineyards which supplied Charlemagne with one of his favorite wines. Cornas means "burnt land," and produces a lusty red wine.

Valence has many restaurants in an attractive setting. You'll want to see the Cathedral of Saint Apollinaris, built in the 11th century. Le Musée International de la Chaussure (International Shoe Museum) contains nearly 8000 objects related to shoe making. Narrow little streets called cotes are the oldest streets in Valence; walk tall in the footsteps of visitors Rabelias and Napolean.

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