A vertical vineyard clings onto a slope between the Rhône’s banks and the top of the hill. This land of terraces, dry stone walls and steps radiates the work of generations of wine growing builders. Did this already exist when the Romans were making wine here almost 2000 years ago? Archaeologists can’t give a definitive answer but ancient historians tell us that Vienne’s wines were famous back then, even in Rome. This unique land is home to two eminent grape varieties which exist all over the world: syrah and viognier. The work is still done by hand or “by back” as they say here. The vineyards were abandoned at the start of the 20th century but began reclaiming the wilderness in the 70s and there are still amazing replanting sites to be seen. Three appellations (Côte-Rôtie, Condrieu and Saint-Joseph) cover this exceptional land producing rare and respected wines.