The territories of the Comté and Côtes du Rhône PDO’s

are connected by the Rhône river which follows parts of the

boundary of the Comté appellation to the south and then

flows through the Rhône valley and the Côtes du Rhône.

Comté Terroir

Massif du Jura or Jura Mountains. 

The capital city of Comté is Poligny where the offices of the PDO as well as a dairy school and several research organisations are located.

Located in eastern France this area stretches over three departments or regions along the border with Switzerland.

The Comté terroir runs about 140 miles north to south.

The area is known for:

– The Jura Mountain chain which was formed during the Jurassic era.

– Its large plateaus are crowned with pine forests at elevations between 650 and 5,000 feet. 

– Green valleys which cut through the fractured landscape with rivers especially rich in fish. There are also numerous lakes and caves.

– Cold winters where the snow cover gives a majestic appearance to the landscape. The coldest town in France is located in Mouthe, Jura. 

– Natural preserves.

Côtes du Rhône terroir

Vallée du Rhône or Rhône Valley. 

The offices of the PDO are located in Avignon. The Côtes du Rhône vineyards spread from the south of Lyon to Avignon on both sides of the Rhône river.

Located in southeastern France this area includes  six departments from Lyon to Avignon.

The Côtes du Rhône terroir runs about 150 miles north to south.

The area is known for:

– Being the result of an epic geological clash between the Massif Central and the Alps.

– Variety of terrains: Steep slopes with terraces, rolling hillsides, plains and plateaus.

– A huge variety of soil types with granitic rocks, limestone, pebbles and round stones along the Rhône river

– Sunshine and Mistral wind, iconic garrigue, pine, cypresses and Mediterranean oaks

– 2 climates: Continental in the north and Mediterranean in the South

Comté stakeholders

Comté has been integral to the survival and livelihood of a dynamic human community in the Jura Mountains. 

The production of Comté relies on three interconnected groups of artisans whose skills are often passed from one generation to another:

farmers/milk producers (2,500 family-owned farms, comprised of over 4500 farmers)

cheesemakers/fruitières (140 fruitières)

affineurs/affinage and sales (15 affinage houses).

Farms producing milk for Comté sit on over 1,000 square miles of land. This makes it the largest area of production for any PDO cheese in France. 

Comté plays an important role in the development of employment, creating altogether 14,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Côtes du Rhône stakeholders

The vineyards are an essential part of the local culture and economy.  

Viticulture and winemaking run in the families with many multi-generation wineries and land tenants. 

Altogether, over 3,700 winegrowers contribute to the production of wine in the appellation. There are 3 main types of wine producing companies: the cooperatives, the private wineries, the négociants (wine sellers).

The diversity of terroirs and grape varieties translate into different styles of wines produced in the Côtes du Rhône vineyards: Reds dominate (87%), followed by rosés (7%) and whites (6%) 

The wine economy is hugely important to the Rhône valley. It creates over 53,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region.