I'VE been enjoying a bit of lockdown travel through wine over the last few months and one of the blasts from the past that I thoroughly enjoyed returning to was the Rhone Valley. Drinking cheap and cheerful Cotes Du Rhone was a right of passage for many a wine lover once they graduated from Peach Concorde but how many went above and beyond in the valley?

The Rhone is a fabulous place with two distinct climates, continental in the North with hot summers and harsh winters and Mediteranean in the South and the range of wines and styles is amazing given that the grape varieties available to the winemaker are the same across the valley.

It’s all about the heady grapes, the ones that create lots of alcohol but are also awash with peppers, spice and late fruits. True, the Rhone wines aren't as easy to understand or even to fall in love at first sight with as an Aussie merlot but, by 'eck, they are worth the effort. If you want to try the ultimate one region wine pilgrimage, start with a basic but not too cheap Cotes Du Rhone then work your way along the valley taking in Gigondas, Cote Rôtie and of course Chateauneuf.

Stephane Ogier Syrah d’ Ogier

A seriously fabulous wine for a bargain price from one of the top producers in the Rhone. All the classic aromas of a rich exuberant Cote Rotie with delicious notes of blackcurrant and warm spicy plums on the palate.

Roeder & Bell £14.99

Cotes du Rhone Villages

A soft and juicy wine with black cherries on the nose and soft spicy autumn fruits on the palate.

Marks & Spencer £10