Wine has been produced in the Rhône Valley in southern France since at least 600 BCE. While the Northern Rhône is famous for big, bold Syrah, the Southern Rhône is all about blends. These styles have become popular throughout the world and is the second most common red blend behind Bordeaux.
Reds usually include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault. These wine blends globally are known as GSM, after the first three varietals. While many more Rhône varietals may be included, these five are the most common. The most famous Rhône blend is Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which can contain up to 14 grapes (19 if you include the blanc, gris, noir variations).
White Rhône blends from the North include Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Southern Rhône white blends use include Ugni blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Grenache Blanc and Clairette, along with Marsanne, Roussane, and some Viognier. Yes, there is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, and it is delicious!