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Hermitage

 

Discover the Hermitage appellation

 

The Hermitage (often also called "Ermitage") is a wine appellation found in the French department of the Drôme, located in the Rhône Valley. Its name supposedly comes from Henri Gaspard de Stérimberg, a royal knight in the service of Blanche of Castile (the Queen of France from 1223 to 1226 AD) who became a hermit. He exiled himself to the local hills, in order to absolve himself of all sins. At least, that's how the story goes. However, winemaking in the region began long before the 13th century.

The Romans were in fact the very first ones to plant grapevines in the Rhône Valley region. At the time, the local wine was simply known as the "Wine of Vienne". It might actually be the ancestor of the current straw wine that's still made in the valley. Later on, the name changed to become "St. Christopher's Hill Wine", since there was a small chapel dedicated to the saint next to the vineyard. The "Hermitage" appellation only came in 1937, when the official AOC was accepted.

Since 2003, the 136 hectares of Hermitage vineyard have been classified as a historic site. The soils here are an impressive blend of many minerals, such as shale, limestone, pebbles, clay and granite. The 35 local winemakers mostly grow Syrah grapes, with a tiny output of Marsanne, Viognier and Roussanne. The Hermitage appellation produces red and white wine, for a total of 4,650 hectoliters each year.

Browse our selection of Hermitage wines.

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