Hermitage -

The wine produced in the hilly Hermitage district bordering on the river Rhone, north of Valence, France. The name is taken from a hermit's cell or Hermitage built on the summit of a hill near Tain in 1225 by Gaspard de Sterimberg, until then a chevalier of the French court. The section is divided into twelve districts known as Mas, the most noted of which is the Mas de Greffieux, at the foot of the hills. Next in order are the Mas de Méal, Mas de Bessar, and Mas de Baumes. The wines are generally known by the names of the districts - Mas Méal, etc. - but the true Hermitage wine which first made its reputation is a blending of the grapes or wine of the first three - Greffieux, Méal and Bessar.

The product of the other eight districts - Cocoules, Murets, Dionnières, l'Ermite, Péléat, la Pierrelle, du Colombier and Varognes - is generally considered of comparatively inferior quality.

The best known Hermitage is the "red" which is a rich deep purple, soft and delicate in flavor and of fine bouquet, suggesting the raspberry. The white wine of the best grades is also very choice - full bodied, smooth and aromatic.

Arround Hermitage in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

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