Wines of the Region
Côtes du Rhone red wines are renowned throughout the world for their robust hearty character. The principal grape varieties used are Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre although Carignan also features. There are two principal vineyards in Mollans itself, those of Alain Sorbier (www.vingusto.com) and Charles Tyrand (www.vigneron-independant.com), and numerous others in the vicinity.
Just to the south lie the more well-known and up-market Gigondas and Chateuneuf du Pape labels, with Vacqueyras somewhere inbetween, and the named villages in the Côtes du Rhone Villages denomination, Sablet, Séguret, Roaix, etc, are all within a few kilometres. Vinsobres, which used to be a named village, is now an AOC in its own right.
The rosé wines from the region are some of the best in the world, varying in nature from very light and dry to full-bodied and fruity.
Just a half-hour’s drive to the south west is Beaumes de Venise, famous for its dessert wines, using the Muscat grape. Less well-known is a semi-dry version which retains the fruitiness of the grape without the sweetness of the dessert wine version; some very drinkable chardonnay and sauvignon blanc is also made locally. White wines from the region are generally less vaunted but there is one real feather in its cap: Viognier, which is becoming more widely known internationally and prized.
Organic wines are increasingly popular and there is even a movement towards “natural wines”, which carry organic methods into the vinification process itself, allowing the absolute minimum of additives such as sulphur. Most local vineyards are pleased to offer visitors a guided ramble through the vineyards, a tour of the vinification facilities and, of course, a tasting session.