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Le Vaccarèse

A Rare and Unique Grape Variety of the Rhône Valley

A native red grape of lower Provence, Vaccarèse is one of the 13 grape varieties authorized by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, although it is rarely used today. Its unique aromatic character brings finesse and freshness to the wines, while moderating the vigor of Grenache in blends.

A Provençal Grape Suited to Warm Terroirs

Originating likely from the Camargue, Vaccarèse has perfectly acclimated to the southern Rhône Valley. It thrives in warm and dry terroirs, such as the stony and arid soils of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Within the appellation, it is one of the 13 authorized grape varieties, but is often used in very small proportions in blends.

Vaccarèse is a relatively late-ripening and productive grape that requires careful pruning to manage yields. It is susceptible to mildew and botrytis but resists drought well. Its clusters are medium-sized and compact, with round berries that have thin skins and a beautiful bluish-black color.

Vinified alone, Vaccarèse produces colored but low-alcohol wines with unique floral aromas and a pleasant freshness on the palate. However, its qualitative potential is limited and it is rarely used as a single varietal. Its acidity and finesse can, however, bring balance to blends.


A Blending Grape for Freshness and Elegance


In the red wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône, Vaccarèse is never vinified alone but always blended with other grape varieties such as Grenache, Syrah, or Mourvèdre. Low in tannins but fresh and aromatic, it contributes finesse, elegance, and delicate floral notes to the wines. It helps to temper the power and alcoholic richness of Grenache.

Its role in blends remains very marginal, rarely exceeding a few percent. Its influence on the aromatic profile of the wines is thus quite subtle and more akin to a touch of freshness than a dominant character.


Unfortunately, Vaccarèse is a grape variety on the verge of extinction, hardly propagated today. Only a few estates continue the tradition by including it in their blends, but always in homeopathic doses.


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