Vaucluse is an IGP title for red, white and rosé wines that are produced in the administrative department of the same name in south-eastern France. The department lies in the heart of the southern Rhône Valley.
The zone is home to such famous winegrowing villages as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaumes-de-Venise and Vacqueyras, as well as the catchment area of the sizable Ventoux and Côtes du Rhône Villages appellations. The IGP exists to allow growers in the area experiment with grape varieties and winemaking techniques that fall outside of the AOC-level appellation requirements.
Vaucluse is diverse geographically, ranging from the large alluvial plain on the western side to the high peaks of the Luberon mountains in the eastern part of the area. Mont Ventoux is the most imposing of these, rising some 2000 meters (6200ft) above sea level. The Rhône river makes up the western border of the appellation, and the Durance river delimits the southern border.
The climate is broadly Mediterranean, but the great diversity of topography here means that there is a lot of range within this, particularly in the cooler reaches of the mountains. High sunshine hours are tempered by the presence of the cold, dry Mistral wind from the northwest, slowing ripening in the grapes and contributing to balance of acidity and flavour in the finished wines. This wind also reduces disease pressure in the vineyards.
The Vaucluse IGP is exclusively reserved for still wines, most of which are blended red wines. The classic southern Rhône grape varieties Syrah and Grenache make up the bulk of these, along with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are typical of IGP-level wines but not of the Rhône Valley. White wines are most often composed from the ubiquitous Chardonnay.
Two sub-denominations exist under the Vaucluse IGP. Wines that come from certain areas in the department can have the further geographical indicators Principauté d'Orange or Pays d'Aigües appended to their labels.