Cotes du Rhone is a region-wide appellation for red, rosé and white wines covering the length and breadth of the Rhone Valley in eastern France. It includes more than 170 villages, following the course of the Rhone river southwards for 125 miles (200km) from Saint-Cyr-sur-le-Rhone to Avignon. A small proportion of the appellation’s wines are white, but the classic Cotes du Rhone wine is a fruity, middleweight red blend based on Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.
In 1860, notary/solicitor Prosper Maufoux established his eponymous negociant company in Santenay, Burgundy. Today, the company is owned by American Robert F. Fairchild, a former foreign correspondent and member of the Fairchild publishing family.
While working in Paris in the late 1960s, Fairchild became interested in wine. In 1971, he became a partner in the House of Burgundy in New York and was instrumental in popularizing Prosper Malfoux Burgundies in the United States. Fairchild believed so strongly in the quality of Prosper Maufoux wines that he wanted to market them worldwide, so in 1994 he founded Maison des Grands Crus in France to purchase Prosper Maufoux. Today owner Fairchild works closely with Pierre Maufoux, grandson of Prosper Maufoux and Pierre’s son, Vincent, in the company’s management. For years, Prosper Maufoux wines were better known on the East Coast, but following Fairchild’s vision, the wines are entering the Bay Area market. Also under the Prosper Maufoux name are wines from Beaujolais, the Loire Valley, and the Rhone Valley.