Since its foundation in 1971, Gigondas has only been authorised for red wine and rosé production, but now, a corresponding application will be submitted to the EU. The news was picked up by various French and English-language media, but there is no confirmation yet on the INAO website.
The appellation in the north of the Vaucluse district, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, has been trying to get white wines approved for eleven years. If the corresponding requirements are met, they will presumably be able to be harvested as AOC wines from next year.
They must consist of at least 70% of the grape variety Clairette Blanche, which can also be vinified as a single variety. In a cuvée, it may be blended with the typical Rhône varieties Bourboulenc Blanc, Clairette Rose, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Marsanne Blanche, Piquepoul Blanc and Roussanne; Viognier and l'Ugni Blanc are also allowed to a maximum of 5% in the cuvée, according to the appellation. These are at least the proposals that go hand in hand with the application to change the specifications of the AOC. Whether other regulations analogous to the rosé and red wines of the appellation are to exist, like for example the maximum residual sugar content of 3 g/l, is not clear from the report.
So far, white wines from Gigondas could only be marketed under the label AOC Côtes du Rhône. The area planted with white grape varieties in Gigondas is estimated at more than 16 ha, but it could increase. So far, there are 30 producers who produce white wine in Gigondas, the appellation says. With the expansion, it is hoped to be able to serve the increased demand for white wine. It is assumed that in less than five years, at least 15% of the winegrowers in Gigondas will produce and market white wine. The limestone terroir is ideal for white wine production.