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Rhône in a Box: Wine Kits

A good winemaker understands not only his or her grapes and where and how they are grown, but also his or her techniques of elaboration and the greater context of the wine he is making.  A winemaker will allow the wine to express itself without trying to mold it against its true nature, intervening only to ensure a sound wine of appropriate flavor and character. In a quest to make Rhône-style wines from kits, we’ll need to do all three of those things to hit our targets. First, we’ll need to survey the offerings of the major kit companies to see how they match up to the styles we’re looking for. Second, since there actually isn’t much grape material offered from the Rhône itself, we have to overlook the place of origin and work our magic in terms of élevage techniques on raw materials we have to express the flavor and character of the Rhône as completely as possible. What are we looking for in a red? While there are many hundreds of wineries in the Rhône AOC, classification can