The Cairanne appellation in the Côtes du Rhône has been awarded cru status, joining well-known names such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Crozes-Hermitage.
The winemakers of Cairanne first submitted their application for cru status to the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) in 2008. It was approved earlier this week, although the official decree is still due to be published.
Cairanne achieved Côtes du Rhône status in 1953 and became a Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation in 1967.
‘For us, promotion to cru status is an acknowledgement of the huge improvements we have made to the quality of both our white and red wines,’ says Denis Alary, president of the Syndicat des Vignerons de Cairanne.
Promotion to cru status means that the wine labels can now be labelled Cairanne, without the need for ‘Côtes du Rhône’ to be included.
Cairanne is the 17th appellation to get cru status; before that Rasteau was the most recent, which was promoted in 2010.
‘Cru status imposes new and more rigorous parameters, which we must respect in the vineyard and in the winery,’ said Eric Monnin, head winemaker for Boutinot in the Rhône.
‘The good news breaks as we finish the pruning and await bud burst in preparation of the 2016 vintage as cru.’
The majority of wine produced in Cairanne is red, made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. About five percent of production is white wine, made from Grenache blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. Production area is 956 hectares.