The Côte-Rôtie vineyards are situated on the hillsides on the right bank of the river Rhône. The slopes sometimes exceed 60%. The vineyards are situated at an altitude of between 180 to 325 metres.
They include 73 listed place names.
Nearly all the vines are planted on metamorphic rock. There are three large zones:
1) The northern part of the appellation is made up of mica-schistous rock.
2) The southern part of the appellation is made up of Gneiss.
3) The extreme south is made up of migmatite.
The chemical compositions of these rocks are quite similar and their differences may be partially explained by their formation 300 – 350 million years ago, when the pressure and temperature was higher in the southern part of the appellation than in the north.
In the Côte-Rôtie region, the mother rock is heavily fractured, which allows the vine roots to draw up water and nutritional elements.
Geological map and map of the Côte-Rôtie place names
Explanations of Côte-Rôtie’s geology