The Ardeche department lies 95km from the Mediterranean coast on a landscape that ranges from river plains in the south to the mountains of the Massif Central in the north. Generally speaking, the vin de pays vineyards are found in the dry, scrubby foothills of the Cévennes mountains, with the narrow valley of the Rhone reserved for the more prestigious AOC wines.
The Mediterranean climate in the south of Ardeche is well suited to viticulture, and mild winters are followed by hot, dry summers. The cool, northerly Mistral wind is felt throughout the department, although this is often interspersed by moisture-laden sea breezes from the south. This collision of winds can result in sudden heavy rain, particularly in spring and autumn.
As in many of the mountain ranges in the Massif Central, the soils here are dominated by limestone and sandstone. Pebbly, thin soils in the main vineyard areas drain freely and stress vines, leading to good concentration in the grapes.
Ardeche wines are usually made up of the classic Rhone varieties Grenache and Syrah, although plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon and other more international grape varieties are finding a place in the vineyards here.