Rhône Wine Week, a week long celebration of the wines of the Rhône Valley, all over Ireland, organised by Inter-Rhône. First organised in 2013 this year will see the 6th in the series.
2018 is set to be a great one. Kicking off on 3rd November and running until 10th November. The week-long celebration brings the wines of the Rhône Valley to Ireland. With visiting winemakers, tastings, dinners, offers, and more. We will be painting the country red (and white!).
The importers taking part so far for 2018 are:
“Just imagine! 250 km from north to south, 250 communes (local authority areas, often villages)… The vineyards of the Rhône Valley are a world apart, a shifting landscape which winds and unwinds around a fluid axis: the Rhone, king of rivers, carrying silt and a sense of history. The Rhône is the linking factor, holding together these contrasting landscapes. From Vienne to Nîmes and Avignon, and on to the borders of the Luberon, on both banks of the river, there is a wealth of places to explore”. Christophe Tassan, “Flânerie dans le Vignoble de la Vallée du Rhône”.
If you would like to join the list of importers, restaurants, or wine shops involved for 2018 then please email us on:
Links between Ireland and wine go back a long way. A very long way. Turtle Bunbury writes
Muirchertach mac Erca, King of Ireland, was feasting with his nobles in the Summer Palace of Clettech by Newgrange when ‘a vengeful woman’ tiptoed into the night and set the premises on fire. The King threw himself into a nearby barrel of wine where he swiftly drowned. Thus goes one of the first known stories of Ireland’s connection with the grapes of wrath. Enough Bronze Age goblets have emerged from the bogs to prove that wine has been a part of the Irish diet at least since Noah got so drunk on the stuff that he passed out in front of his kids. If you know your history, you’ll know Noah’s granddaughter Cessair was one of the first to settle in Ireland after the Great Flood. A brewer and an innkeeper were amongst her followers.
You can read Turtle’s full piece here.
There are of course the famous Wine Geese, the Irish who fled to France to avoid persecution. From 1691 they left Ireland and went to wine producing regions such as Bordeaux and the Loire and gave us Lynch-Bages, Kirwan etc as well as Hennassy Cognac to name but a few.
We’ve also come across claims that St Patrick himself brought Syrah to the Rhône. Norman Mongan writes
Two former Rhone valley vineyards were named after the saint: Clos St Patrice at Tain-l’Hermitage, near Tournon, and Saint Patrice at Chateaneuf-du-Pape, near Avignon, both now closed since the ‘50s. Maurice Healy, writing in 1940 in his Stay Me with Flagons noted that the Clos St Patrice was ‘producing a red wine that would almost convert Hitler to Christianity, great, rich, glowing red wine, with a mouthful of bouquet at every sip … I remembered the wonderful freshness and exuberance of that Hermitage, and I discerned a reason for the sudden and overpowering success of Saint Patrick in Ireland’. Local tradition says that the saint planted these vines in these regions on his way to convert Ireland.
You can read the full article here.
If then St Patrick brought Syrah to the Rhône (and we’d like to think he did) then for Rhône Wine Week we are in a way welcoming home many of our own. Syrah is one of the main grape varieties grown in the Rhône Valley; it is truly at home in this region.