Named after the 1,912-metre-high Mont Ventoux, this appellation is located in the southern section of the Rhône wine-growing region. Until the 2008 vintage, the designation was Côtes du Ventoux (the reason for the renaming is clearer identification for consumers). The area was elevated to VDQS in 1951 and to AOC in 1973. The vineyards cover around 7,700 hectares of vines in 51 communes on the left bank of the Rhône in the department of Vaucluse between Vaison-la-Romaine in the north and Apt in the south. Viticulture existed here as early as the first century BC, as evidenced by excavations near Mazan. In the Middle Ages, the quality standard was raised by the great monasteries, especially during the presence of the popes in Avignon from 1309 to 1414. Wine was also supplied to the French royal houses.
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