Although “the Rhone” is often discussed as if it were a single appellation, the weather patterns, soil and grapes varieties found in the southern Rhone appellations are quite different from those in the northern Rhone. In the cooler north, a single grape-syrah-is king while in the more temperate climate of the south, grenache, mourvedre, cinsault and syrah- alone or in combination- are the rule. The red wines of Chateauneuf du Pape are the southern Rhone’s calling card. While there are 13 legally allowed grapes that can be blended into the wine of “Chateauneuf”, there is no forced recipe in the region and blending is different from domaine to domaine. However, grenache is the most important red grape of them all. The region is known for its rocky soils but there are also sections with more sandy and fine soils. It is this difference in soil that determines which grapes will be planted and used in the final wine. Wonderful, complex and long-lived whites (Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc), made mostly from marsanne and rousanne are also produced here.