Wines have been produced in the region since pre-Roman times, and those from the right bank were the favourite wines of kings and the papal community in Avignon at the time of the schism. In the mid 17th century the right-bank district of Côte du Rhône had issued regulations to govern the quality of its wine and in 1737 the king ordered that casks of wine shipped from the nearby river port of Roquemaure should be branded with the letters CDR to introduce a system of protecting its origin.
The rules for its Côte du Rhône thus formed the very early basis of today's nationwide AOC system governed by the INAO
he name was changed to Côtes du Rhône when the left-bank wines were included in the appellation some hundred years later.
The appellation received full recognition by a High Court decision in 1937, and the rules were revised in 1996 and 2001 to take into account new conditions of production.
Roquemaure is known as "La Capitale des Amoureux", or "The Capital of Lovers".
In 1868 the relics of St. Valentine arrived after being purchased from Rome by Maximilian Richard, a local dignitary, as it was believed that the relics would protect the vines from phylloxera which ravaged the vineyards in 1866.
The relics are kept in the 14th century collegiate church and each year the St Valentine Festival of the Kiss attracts over 20,000 people.
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