The Rhone’s North and South divide

“As a collector I would be wary about generalising about ‘the Rhône’ – it’s really two distinct regions. The Southern Rhône and the Northern Rhône rarely enjoy the same quality or style in any given vintage and the wines age differently.” – Matt Walls, Liv-ex Interview

January 2021 was a historic month for the Rhone, as its index broke through the 200 mark for the first time. The slow and steady price performer would seem to be on the move but where have the biggest risers come from?

The wines that increased the most in value in January were Clos Papes, Chateauneuf Du Pape 2010 (up 7.7%) and Domaine de la Janasse, Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes 2011 (up 6.2%).

Still, in January, the Southern Rhone index was up only 0.6%, compared to a rise of 1.6% for the Northern Rhone.

The average Market Price for the Southern Rhone’s finest is under £1k per case – the cheapest entry point into the fine wine market for dry reds. The top wines from the north cost over twice as much, commanding an average Market Price of £2,127 per case.

Northern vs Southern Rhone Index over two years

Despite significant differences in prices and production volumes, the north and south took almost equal parts of the region’s trade share by value in 2020.

So far in 2021, however, trade by value has been dominated by the higher value wines from the north (60.5%), with the south taking the balance (39.5%).

Trade share by value: North vs South

Our report, The Rhone: Solid as a Rock, offers some insight into the reasons behind the Rhone’s north and south divide. It also examines buying demand and critical influence. You can claim your complimentary copy of the report (in English or French) by filling the form below.