Gigondas and Vacqueyras are two adjacent appellations contained within the southern portion of the Côtes-du-Rhône region. Sandy soils and moderate slopes are responsible for the the full-bodied, generous wines that are typified in both appellations. Traditionally, lighter Grenache Noir-based wines were in vogue but use of new oak barrels in conjunction with Syrah and Mourvedre have given greater appeal to wines from more forward-thinking producers. Gigonadas are often compared to Chateauneuf de Pape, and often offers a better value. These wines are ultra firm and leathery, still balance by huge berry flavors. Vacqueyras are quite similar to Gigonadas but are often found to be more rustic and earthy. Both wines are excellent with peppered steaks, and rustic beef stews. (Wine/Appellations)