An opportunity to taste the prized wines of Chateauneuf du Pape is offered on 1 – 3 April 2022 in Chateauneuf-du-Pape (84 Vaucluse, Provence PACA). This provencal village was once the summer home to the Popes (hence the name), but it is now probably its wines which draw the visitors. Here the reds are big and powerful – often quite complex due to up to 13 grape varieties being allowed in the blend. The whites are seen less frequently but can be impressive. Easy access a few kilometres north of Avignon and with easy access from the autoroutes (A7 and A9) for more info see Salon des Vins . My personal favourite is Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe – or for a smaller producer try Chateau Simian at Piolenc see also – Wine Villages of France – Chateauneuf-duPape

Chateauneuf poster

The characteristic terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape comes from a layer of stones called galets (“pebbles”). The rocks are typically quartzite and remnants of Alpine glaciers that have been smoothed over millennia by the Rhône. The stone retains heat during the day and releases it at night which can have an effect of hastening the ripening of grapes. The stones can also serve as a protective layer to help retain moisture in the soil during the dry summer months. Some of the most prestigious vineyards in the area, like Château Rayas, have more traditional looking vineyards without the galets. These are most often vineyards located on south-facing slopes where the night-time radiated heat from the stones would be detrimental to the vines and cause overripening of the grapes.

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