Châteauneuf-du-Pape is located in France's Southern Rhône valley. It was one of the first appellations to achieve AOC status, as it was also the region which helped define the AOC laws. Today the appellation makes red and white wines. These wines can be made from any of 14 permitted varieties, however it is Grenache that dominates the blends for the reds, while Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Clairette dominate the white blends. The region itself is very special, as it is primarily located in an ancient riverbed. The stones that cover this river bed, called galettes, absorb heat during the daytime and warm the vines at night, enabling them to ripen more intensely. This ripeness combines with the natural earthiness of the blends, and a distinct herbal character typical of the region, to yield truly stellar and individual wines.