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The Hill of Hermitage



I took this shot after lunch in Tournon. From that bank, one looks back at Tournon's twin of Tain l'Hermitage, the pair separated by the mighty Rhône. You can see a great deal of building taking place in Tain and, indeed, Tain seems the younger twin by some margin, lacking the character and, yes, looks as its sibling.

With regards the Hill, legend has it that a crusader, returning injured from one of the campaigns in the Holy Land, stopped atop the hill to recuperate and was given permission to build a refuge in which to make his recovery. Gaspard de Stérimberg - for twas his name - thenceforth decided to stay on as a hermit, giving rise to the name of both hill and wine.

325 hectares is the entire vineyard here, around a third of which is planted with white grapes. And the vineyard cannot be extended further, limited, as it is, by the confines of the hill itself.

Wines from here were known to have been shipped to Rome at the time of Pliny.
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