Located in the heart of the Côtes du Rhône-Villages appellation, Rasteau has AC status for both still reds and whites under the CdR-Villages Rasteau appellation and as Rasteau AC for fortified wines. This small appellation just to the north of Gigonadas produces wines (both light and heavy) almost entirely from various hues of Grenache, with up to 10% Syrah, Carignan and Cinsault. The still wines are pleasant if uninspiring, with the reds garnering more acclaim than the whites for their fruity mix of spice and earth.
Though made in small amounts, the vin doux naturels of Rasteau are where the fame of the appellation lies. Made by prematurely halting the fermentation process by adding grape brandy to the must, the wines start off in a similar style as Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise to the south. But it is in the aging process that their unique qualities come about. The wines are aged in oak casks where they are deliberately exposed to the sun and elements, taking on an oxidative and maderized note called rancio. The wines vary in style from light and crisp similar to an Amontillado Sherry all the way to heavy and rich, a style closer to a Bual Madeira. As in Banyuls, whites are sold as Ambré and res are sold as Tuilé. These wines are sold as AC Rasteau Rancio.