According to a legend, during the 9th century, Charlemagne was quite fond of the wines produced from these slopes. At the time, they were called “Mauves”, the name of a village situated at the heart of the appellation. During the 17th century, the Jesuits of Tournon dubbed them Saint-Joseph in tribute to the Virgin Mary’s husband. Today the appelation is 1,160 hectares of vines spreading across 60 kilometers. The vineyards start on the right bank of the Rhone, 50 kilometers south of Lyon, and end west of Valence. L’Arzelle refers to the unusual and diverse terroir of the SaintJoseph appellation. Originating from the Massif Central, the granite easily decomposes over time. In the local dialect, Arzelle refers to the wearing away of the parent rock.