A small appellation located on the west bank of the Rhône river, in the southern portion of the valley, Tavel is a unique wine producing area. Famous for centuries, it is one of the only appellations in France, and certainly the only in the Rhône, to produce only rosé wine. Though it is situated on the opposite bank of the Rhône from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the land in this area is more Provence than Rhône, with a rough and rocky landscape that makes for difficult vine-growing conditions.
Tavel is produced from a minimum of 60% Grenache and 15% Cinsault, with Syrah, Mourvèdre and even a little Carignan and white varietals thrown in. The wines are prized for their deep bronze color, and are said to be the only rosé to even consider aging. This is up for debate, as older Tavel was revered by King Louis XIV, but some feel the color is more attractive than the flavors, which can dry out and lose their luster with age. Either way, the sand, clay and limestone soil is an excellent base for producing wines that have fruit, spice, character and are full of body with a very dry finish.