The Northern Rhone is home to, arguably, the finest expressions of Syrah in the world, along with equally fantastic yet less renowned grape varieties Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Though they can be staggeringly expensive, one look at the vineyards and a little consideration for the painstaking efforts that go into farming these steep slopes (all by hand) and it's understandable why they command such a premium. Demand for the wine is very high and the area's own geography prevents any significant expansion of production so it's not likely to get any more affordable to explore, but the quality is undeniable. 

Photos of the Northern Rhone taken in May, 2016 and February, 2017. Vineyard-specific photos of Cote-Rotie, Condrieu, Chateau-Grillet, Hermitage, Cornas and St-Joseph. Vineyards photographed include: Bessards, l'Ermite, Le Meal and Greffieux in Hermitage; Cote Blonde, Cote Brune, La Mouline, La Turque, Moutonnes, Grand Taillis, Cote Baudin, Le Mollard and La Taquiere in Cote-Rotie; Reynard, Chaillot, Mazards, Champelrose, La Cote, Les Cotes, Cayret and Tezier in Cornas; Vernon, Chery, La Cote, Alleau and Clos Boucher in Condrieu; Vignes de l'Hospice in Saint-Joseph. Other photos throughout Tain l'Hermitage and Tournon-sur-Rhone including the pedestrian bridge and La Chapelle de l'Ermite. Cellar visits with Alain Voge, Pierre Jean Villa and Guigal. 

Click photo to enlarge, then hover over image for caption. All images copyright Jeff Bramwell.