In the north, Viognier’s best expression, the coveted Condrieu, is the primary white wine. But little-known whites from Hermitage can be even more outstanding. Mainly, though, Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie are known for their pungent Syrahs, often considered the world’s best.
The southern Rhône is more known for GSM (Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre) blends, such as those found in Châteauneauf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Vacqueyras. Châteauneuf is one of the most varied French appellations, producing wines ranging from $15 bargain bottles to among the best boutique wines in the world.