The village of Gigondas, a few miles to the northeast of Chateauneuf at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail, was the first Cotes du Rhone-Villages
wine to win its own appellation, with nearby Vacqueyras the next to be so recognized. Like Chateauneuf du Pape
, red wines from both of these villages are blends based on Grenache
. Gigondas is typically more fruity and more supple than Chateauneuf du Pape, with wines from favored sites at the base of the hillside often showing a vibrant stony character. Vacqueyras is typically a more rustic variation on the Gigondas theme--chunkier and less aromatically complex but satisfyingly spicy, peppery, and ripe in the best years.