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Chateauneuf du Pape Wine

Rich & full bodied - the most famous of the Cote du Rhone wines

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The king of Rhone wines, Chateauneuf du Pape covers a fairly small area, but is highly sought after thanks to the quality of soil, position and climate. This famous wine producing region was first cultivated by monks over a thousand years ago, and the popes in Avignon developed the vines in the 14th century.

Regional wines

Both red and white wine is produced here, but it is the red that is world-renowned. The composition of Chateauneuf du Pape wines is tightly controlled by the AOC - a blend of over eight varieties of grape - wine makers can use up to 18 grape varieties in their blend - the main ones of which are grenache,  syrah and mourvedre.

The reds tend to be rich and heavy in alcohol, due to the sunny weather that ripens the grapes. These robust, rich wines are best suited to cold winter evenings. They don't come cheap, but you can be sure of a high quality, distinctive wine. There are many producers in the area who welcome visitors for tastings and tours.

Notable vineyards

Domaine Font de Michelle offers an informative experience to visitors; choose from a simple introduction to the domaine and free tastings, or a tour of the vineyard, production and in depth tastings for a small fee.

Domaine de Fontavin is an organic vineyard with a tasting cellar open six days a week. They have a selection of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.

Chateau Gigognan has a selection of Chateauneuf du Pape and Cote du Rhine wines in it's vineyard. The cellar is open every day except for Sunday. For an informative visit about the wine making process and tastings (vineyard tours available during harvest), call ahead to book your session. Bed and breakfast accommodation is also available.

Domaine la Milliere is located just to the north of Chateauneuf du Pape and offere red, white and rose wines of both Chateauneuf du Pape and Cote du Rhone. Their cellar is open for tours and tastings every day except Sunday - groups should make an appointment.

Domaine de la Mordoree has a large selection of Chateauneuf du pape, Lirac and Tavel and has won many awards over the years. Their cellar is open every day except Sunday.

Alternatively, head to the village of Chateauneuf du Pape itself, where many of the regions wines can be tasted in a number of cosy cellars. For a more educational visit, try the Brotte Wine Museum which is also located within the town of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In addition to learning about how to make wine and the vineyards of the Rhone Valley, you can head to their cellar where many wines are available to taste. The self guided tour is free and you can also book guided tours for a small fee.

Many of the other vineyards are also open throughout the year and tend to be closed on Sundays and public holidays. You just need to contact any particular vineyard before your visit to make sure they can accommodate you, particularly if you would like to take a tour. Groups are generally catered for by appointment.

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