In year 1308 Pope Clement V moved the papal state from Rome to Avignon. The Pope enjoyed a good wine, and he especially enjoyed Burgundy wine. Wine production around Avignon probably wasn’t the best at the time, but Clements successor John XII began to show interest in local wine production. In the area north of Avignon, along the Rhone good producers of wine gradually evolved. The wines were called “Vin du Pape” and later Châteauneuf -du- Pape.
Châteauneuf -du- Pape AOC
Already in year 1923 the wines got a separate appellation (AOC), and the wines are now very recognized. Although the area geographically is located within Provence, it is rare to read about Châteauneuf -du- Pape as the Provence wine, they are often classified as Rhone Wines.
There are a number of rules that have to be followed to be able to call themselves Châteauneuf -du- Pape, the most important are the following :
– The wine must be based on 18 specific grape varieties. But there are no rules for how much of each type which must be used.
– The grapes must be grown in a specific area around the town of Châteauneuf -du- Pape.
– The volume of alcohol has to be at least 12.5 %, which is the highest in France.
It is the red wines that are best known, and it is also the most produced. Although there is a lot of freedom when it comes to the choice of grapes, the grenache dominate. Most wines contain about 70 % of grenache. Besides wine, there are on some farms also produced a little white wine – which is also worth a try.
On many of the vineyards there is a possibility of tasting. Some require that you book in advance, while others have fixed opening hours. Visit the tourist office in town, located in the Place du Portail, they have tips on where to go.