Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a big classic wine from the southern Rhône Valley north of Avignon in Provence, and literally translates as the “new Castle of the Pope” and was the summer home of the Pope when based in Avignon (Palais des Papes) in the 14th Century.
The wines are big and complex, predominantly red and made from up to 13 different grape varieties resulting in a rich and complex spicy wine which can age well. Some white wines are made from the varieties such as Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Clairette and Picpoul. The whites can be refreshingly crisp and are mainly for drinking young.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines must be bottled locally and carry the embossed coat of arms on the bottle to ensure authenticity.
The village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (84 Vaucluse, Provence) is essentially medieval with narrow streets, curving around the hillside or rising upwards between the houses. The buildings are authentic and well-restored with many wine shops.
See the official Rhone Wines Website
The village was once circled by two concentric walls. The outer wall enclosed the chateau and the entire village. The inner wall enclosed the chateau and only the highest part of the village. The extensive vineyards and villages of the Côtes du Rhône are all within easy reach.
Nearest airport: Marseille