Côtes du Rhône Online Certification Course

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The Rhône region of France has been planted to vines for over 2,000 years, first by the Greeks and then by the Romans. Winemaking thrived with support from the church, especially after Pope Clement V re-located the papacy to Avignon in 1309. The reputation and consumption of wines labeled C.D.R. grew over centuries; in 1937 Côtes du Rhône was one of France’s first AOCs.

The backbone of the Rhône Valley in France is the Côtes du Rhône AOC, a topographically diverse area stretching from Vienne in the north past Avignon in the south, surrounding and following the Rhône River. Within this large region there is varied geography, four different soil types, and both Continental and Mediterranean climates. The winemaking style of blending reflects the diversity of grape varieties grown, with white, rose and red wines produced.






Rhone Foundations Bookend 3

Côtes du Rhône Foundations

Recorded on Tuesday, May 11 at 11AM Pacific

Presenter: Catherine Bugué, VP Education and DipWSET instructor

Côtes du Rhône as a wine region has been celebrated for 800 years. Loved by kings and popes, the region produces wines now consumed all over the world. Join us as we touch upon the history, terroir and quality levels and explore unknown appellations. This webinar is an excellent foundation for the upcoming course on Côtes du Rhône launching in June.


The majority of Rhône Valley wines are produced in the southern part of the Côtes du Rhône around the cities of Avignon and Orange.

Within the larger AOC lies the Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation, which signifies a higher quality level of wines.

Beyond that is a little-known but unique set of appellations called Côtes du Rhône Villages with Geographical Names.

These 22 village areas have stricter production standards, lower yields and are true expressions of terroir.

Download the map here.

Rhone Course


FREE for a limited time

Ideal for: Intermediate to Advanced
Time to complete: 3 hours (self-paced)
Certification: NVWA/Côtes du Rhône certificate and social badge

You may think you know the wines of Côtes du Rhône… but with a 2,000-year history we promise there’s more to discover. While its famous Crus have garnered worldwide attention, the majority of the region’s production and potential lies in the southern Rhone Valley. Incredibly diverse in geology and climate, Côtes du Rhône AOC and Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC offer masterfully blended, sustainably-minded wines with distinct terroir — all at an exceptional value.

We’ve partnered with the Côtes du Rhône’s professional association to develop the first and only official course of the region. From on-location instructional videos to interactive maps, you’ll explore one of France’s first and largest appellations in a level of detail not offered in WSET Level 2 or Level 3. A foundation in wine is highly recommended (Wine 101 or WSET Level 1 at least).

Your instructor:
Peter Marks, Master of Wine

Included with your registration:

Course Workbook
Detailed profiles on ALL 22 villages included in Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC (reference only; not included in final exam)
12 month (24/7) access to online course
Printable PDF certificate and digital badge (with passing grade of 80%)

The first and only official course on the wines of Côtes du Rhône, you’ll receive 3 hours of immersive and comprehensive educational content, including videos, quizzes, and interactive exercises. This course specifically covers Côtes du Rhône AOC and Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC (highlighting 5 of the 22 Villages with geographic names). The course does NOT cover the Crus of the Rhône Valley.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Be able to confidently communicate the characteristics of Côtes du Rhône wines 
  • Feel empowered to make buying decisions for Côtes du Rhône wines, whether personally or professionally
  • Explore an important wine region that often gets overlooked

The Côtes du Rhône Course has 3 hours of instruction, and includes a workbook for students to follow and take notes, as well as a detailed Appendix with information on all  Côtes du Rhône Villages AOCs with Geographic Names . Upon taking the Final Exam and passing with a grade of 80% students will receive an official certificate from the Napa Valley Wine Academy and Côtes du Rhônes, and a badge to show and share on social media. The course is an achievement that shows the certificate holder to have an intermediate to advanced level of knowledge of the Côtes du Rhône region and its wines. 

MODULE 1 – WELCOME (5 minutes to complete)

1.1 | Welcome to the Côtes du Rhône Online Course (2 min Video)

1.2 | Course Outline

1.3 | Course Workbook (pdf download)


2.1 | Intro do Module 2 (2 min Video)

2.2 | Maps

2.3 | Geographical Features (4 min Video)

2.4 | Climate (4 min Video)

2.5 | Soils

2.6 | White Grapes

2.7 | Black Grapes

2.8 | Viticulture

2.9 | Winemaking

2.10 | Module 2 Quiz (10 multiple choice questions)

MODULE 3 – WINES OF COTES DU RHONE (~80 minutes to complete)

3.1 | Intro do Module 3 (2 min Video)

3.2 | Wine Law

3.3 | Cotes du Rhone AOC

3.4 | Cotes du Rhone Villages AOC 

3.5 | Cotes du Rhone Villages Plan de Dieu (4 min Video)

3.6 | Cotes du Rhone Villages Valreas (4 min Video)

3.7 | Cotes du Rhone Villages Suze-la-Rousse (4 min Video)

3.8 | Cotes du Rhone Villages Chusclan (4 min Video)

3.9 | Cotes du Rhone Villages Rousset-les-Vignes (4 min Video)

3.10 | Module 3 Quiz (10 multiple choice questions)

MODULE 4 – FINAL QUIZ (~15 minutes to complete)

4.1 | Thank You (2 min Video)

4.2 | Final Quiz (20 multiple choice questions)

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