These activities tie into the region’s ambitious goals of bringing focus to and expanding growth of the white and rosé wines of the Rhône Valley Vineyards.
New York, NY, June 1, 2023 – Inter Rhône, the organization that represents the Rhône Valley Vineyards AOCs, is excited to announce a series of upcoming events in the US: the Rhône in White Dinner, Academy du Rhône and a first-ever Rhône Valley Winemaker Tour in cities across the country. These projects are part of the ambitious strategic action plan that began in 2023 and was unveiled at the end of last year, which largely focuses on exports and color diversification. To achieve these goals, Inter Rhône is setting up a rich program of promotional actions in order to have the Rhône Valley emerge as a major producing region of white wines and to instill new ways of perceiving Rhône rosés.
Inter Rhône will be hosting a Rhône in White Dinner in New York City on Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 at Manhatta, designed to be an immersive tasting and dining experience exploring the complex world of Rhône Valley white wines. Master of ceremonies Anna Lee Iijima, Journalist and Rhône Reviewer for the New Wine Review, will be leading a wine-tasting evening with 100 cuvées from some of the top AOCs of the region, along with three sommelier hosts: Chris Dooley, Former Head Sommelier at Daniel; Kristen Goceljak, Wine Director at Crown Shy and SAGA; and Chris Struck, Beverage Director at ilili NYC. Guests will be encouraged to wear white or bring white accessories.
The tasting will focus on the three styles of white wines, and will be organized in a way for the participants to discover which cuvées reflect their tastes and pair best with the occasion, the company, or the mood. These three styles are:
- Fresh and Lively: A profile based on freshness and liveliness, with aromas of citrus and white fruits. These wines are citrusy, and floral, with white fruit notes, and the varietal thiols (grapefruit) are highlighted by winemaking. They have a lively structure and crisp acidity on the palate. Ideal for an apéritif, pairing well with summer salads and goat cheeses.
- Fruity and Round: A round and balanced profile with aromas of tropical and stone fruits (peach, apricot). It has a round and fleshy texture on the palate that is offset by acidity to maintain balance and varietal thiols such as exotic fruits (passionfruit, mango). A pairing for fish-based meals, white meats and cheeses.
- Rich and Complex: More complex wines for aging and cellaring with aromas of ripe, jammy, candied or dried fruits. Full of aromatic complexity with notes of fruit, spices and minerality. Sometimes with oaky notes, aromas of toast, or even honey. The palate is concentrated, opulent, and long. These wines have long aging potential and can be paired throughout the meal.
While the Rhône Valley Vineyards are renowned for their red wines, the white wines are still not as well known, yet deserve to be in the spotlight. Overall, the share of white AOC wines is growing by a small margin; however, the total production and sales remain low, prompting Inter Rhône to develop the collective ambition for the decade to come to double the production of still white wines and put the region front of mind as a great white wine-producing region for all European and North American professionals. These wines are real gems that reflect the DNA of the vineyards, including the diversity of terroirs, grape varieties and blends. The diversity that is an integral part of the Rhône Valley identity is a source of a development potential that takes on its full meaning in an expanding global market, as the industry faces evolving consumer consumption behaviors and recognizes the need to adapt to climate change.
Inter Rhône will also be touring the United States with a series of educational masterclasses as part of the Academy du Rhône, which will be aimed at trade and press. This one-of-a-kind masterclass concept, hosted by Evan Goldstein MS and David Keck MS, will stop in nine of the largest cities in the US: New York (June 13), Chicago (June 14), San Francisco (June 15), Houston (July 18), Austin (July 19), Dallas (July 20), New Orleans (August 15), Miami (August 16) and Washington DC (September, date TBD). This exclusive, in-depth 3-hour masterclass and guided tasting will be a not-to-be-missed opportunity to take a deep dive into one of the most driving French wine regions. Attendees will be able to test their knowledge at the end of the event with the first quiz to be endorsed by Rhône Valley Vineyards.
In addition to the roadshow, Inter Rhône will be introducing New York (June 13), Chicago (June 14), and San Francisco (June 15) to some of the brightest stars of the Rhône Valley with the launch of the Winemaker Tour walkaround tastings for trade and press. For the first time, a delegation of 30 winemakers from the region will be traveling together through the United States and sharing their passion for their region and wines during an exclusive walkaround tasting of over 100 wines from the most sought-after AOCs of the region. This event will provide exclusive access to meet, taste and discover some of the most prominent wineries in the Rhône Valley, including Chapoutier, Marrenon, Lavau, Poulet et Fils and many more.
These projects are a part of the initial push to gain ground towards achieving Inter Rhône’s ambitious 2023 goals aimed at allowing the AOCs of the Rhône Valley Vineyards to thrive in the future. This collective vision focuses on three main areas: economic, technical and promotional, with these three initiatives aimed at consolidating and strengthening its position in growing markets like the United States.
About Inter Rhône
Inter Rhône is a dynamic, deeply committed professional association representing all members of the Côtes du Rhône and Rhône Valley AOC wine industry. Founded in 1955, it coordinates the marketing and communications, business and technical activities of the following AOCs: Côtes du Rhône (Regional, Villages and Crus), Clairette de Bellegarde, Clairette de Die, Châtillon en Diois, Costières de Nîmes, Côtes du Vivarais, Coteaux de Die, Crémant de Die, Duché d’Uzès, Grignan les Adhémar, Luberon, Ventoux, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise and Rasteau sweet fortified wines, Eaux de Vie de Vin des Côtes du Rhône (or Fine des Côtes du Rhône) and Eaux de Vie de Marc des Côtes du Rhône (or Marc des Côtes du Rhône). Its activity is based on three key principles: fair representation for all professional groupings; parity between producers and négociants; and unanimity for all major decisions. Inter Rhône is both creative and accountable, standing alongside its members, supporting them and helping them in their quest to win greater recognition for Rhône Valley Vineyards wines in France and abroad.