The vineyards of the Rhone Valley, which forms a corridor between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, have been producing wines for at least 2000 years
In the 13th century, the French King Louis VIII granted the Comtat Venaissin to Pope Gregory X. In the 14th century, the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon and the popes, great lovers of the local wines, planted extensive vineyards around the city. John XXII, the second of the seven Avignon popes, had a summer residence built at Châteauneuf du Pape. Benedict XII, the third Avignon pope, ordered the building of the Palais des Papes. Later, at the end of the 17th century, and for the next 200 years, the port of Roquemaure (Gard) became a great centre for the shipping of goods by river. “Côste du Rhône” was then the name of an administrative district of the Viguerie d’Uzès (Gard), famous for its wines. Regulations were introduced in 1650 to guarantee their provenance and quality. But not until the mid-19th century did “Côste du Rhône” become “Côtes du Rhône”, when the term was extended to include the vineyards on the left bank of the river. Their reputation, built up over the centuries, was legally validated by the district courts of Tournon and Uzès in 1936.
While the red wines of Chateauneuf du Pape are produced in a wide and diverse array of styles, they share the common characteristics of fresh red and black cherries, strawberry, kirsch, black pepper, black raspberry, spice, earth and garrigue, which is the fresh herbs typical of the region. The textures can be lush, lusty and luscious when young, and take on silky characteristics with age.
One of the great qualities most red Chateauneuf du Pape wines share is the wide range of drinkability
A very small number of producers, make some dry white and fruity rose Chateauneuf du Pape.
Delightful restaurants, charming hotels, irresistible wineries: all the places to visit in the Rhone area will seduce you
Behind its vast vineyards, the Rhône Valley hides little pieces of paradise… Come and discover these wonderful destinations.