Côte Rôtie, the northernmost subregion of the Rhône Valley, means “roasted coast.”
Close but no cigar. Côte Rôtie (COAT roh-TEE), or “roasted slope” is home to some of the steepest vineyards in all of France—gradients can be up to 60 degrees or more in some of the steepest parts of the granite, terraced plantings. While the name implies hot weather, the Côte Rôtie has a relatively cool climate as it lies at the far northern boundary of the region. In fact, to optimize warmth, ancient growers chose slopes that faced south toward the sun, which affords the vines more light as well as heat.