A small appellation centered around a tiny range of mountains called the Dentelles de Montmirail, located in the southern portion of the Rhône Valley. Gigondas is bordered by Vacquerays to the south, Beaumes-de-Venise to the east and the Côtes du Rhône village of Sablet to the north. For many years Gigondas was also listed as a Côtes du Rhône village as well, until in 1971 the region was promoted to full AC status. Though the wines are not dramatically better than the Côtes du Rhône sold at lesser prices nearby, they are a bit more consistent.
The vineyards stretch from the foot of the mountains down to the river Ouvèze, over mostly clay-based soil at the top down to sand and gravel at the lower elevations. Like elsewhere in the southern Rhône Grenache is the major grape varietal here, usually making up at least 2/3 of the blend, with Syrah and Monastrell in larger amounts and splashes of Cinsault and Carignan filling in the rest.
Gigondas wines are similar in spice, fruit and character to a medium-range Châteauneuf-du-Pape, thoguh missing the body, weight and quality of the better Châteauneuf wines. No white wine is produced, but a small amount of a spicy and peppery rosé can be found. Generally speaking, Gigondas represents a good alternative to the more expensive Châteauneuf-du-Papes, though they are slight step down in quality. Still, they can be a nice introduction into the better reds of the southern Rhône.