Côte Rôtie has been an important viticultural center for millennia, potentially even the site of the earliest cultivation of the vine in what is now France. Nearby Vienne was an important Roman settlement, and the steeply terraced vineyards on schist soils rising up the right bank of the Rhone date from the 2nd Century BCE.  By the mid-20th Century, however, the region held little prestige, especially as compared to Hermitage. Primarily due to the efforts of Marcel Guigal, the appellation regained its status beginning in the 1980s, and today it produces some of the most sought-after Syrah (often blended with a touch of Viognier) in the world. Côte Rôtie are certainly robust wines, the best among which will age for decades, but they are equally known for elegance and perfume.