Chateauneuf-du-Pape is one of the places of lovers' worship of good wine. It is there, more than seven centuries ago, Pope Clement V moved his residence from Rome to Avignon, where he decided to study viticulture. As he was a great connoisseur and lover of wine, he had always wanted to table a nice drink. As you can see, the popes were not only the spiritual rulers, but also secular people liked to drink and eat pretty well. The first wine is not distinguished by excellent quality. Only for a few years when John XXII came to power, who built a new summer residence near Avignon, called it Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which translated means «New Castle of the Pope», the first quality local wine appeared became so popular these days. Years later, the Popes returned to Rome and in Chateauneuf-du-Pape monks left who worked in the vineyards and created a new flavor of red wine.
The village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape became the «Mecca» of wine tourism today. Thousands of people come here every year to try local wines, compare to each other, to see what the best yields is. And to help them wine cellars in the village and its district abound came. The village even has a special wine route in the wine region.
Today in Châteauneuf-du-Pape use several varieties of grapes for making wine. But the main variety is red grape of Grenache, which is called «King of the Rhone». Among the varieties used in production there are Cinsault, Counoise, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Syrah, Terret noir and Vaccarèse (red grapes) and Grenache blanc, Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picardan, Roussanne and Picpoul (white grapes).
The main village Square is Place du Portail, from which those medieval streets as Joseph Ducos, Commandant Lemaitre, Rue de la République disperse in different directions. It is famous for the fact that on its territory there are many wine cellars, which even more than cafes and restaurants in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Also here you can always enjoy fresh pastries in the bakery.
One of the main attractions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape known in the county is Chateauneuf Castle that served as the summer residence for John XXII. The Castle is located near the Place du Portail. It is perfectly preserved thanks to the monks, and today is a headquartered of Brotherhood Echansonnerie des Papes, supporting the reputation of the wine region. After a tour of the castle, you not only learn its history, the history of popes and «golden pages» of noble beverage, but also enjoy stunning views of the entire valley of the Rhone. Today the Castle is the center of village life, as his old basement after the reconstruction has become a major venue for events and festivals. From the castle area you can see panoramic splendid views over vineyards, the foothills of the Alps, Mont Ventoux, visible outlines of Papal Castle in Avignon.
Besides the old castle, Châteauneuf-du-Pape can please lovers of ancient architecture with two ancient chapels - Chapelle Saint-Pierre-du-Luxembourg (XVIII century) and Chapelle Saint-Théodoric, built in Romanesque style in the XVI century, with unique murals which depict the apostles, which is now an exhibition hall. In the same style a small basilica of Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption with modest cozy courtyard built. Inside the basilica there is a statue of Pierre de Luxembourg, the saint patron of the village. In the village there is also a beautiful fountain -Fontaine de Souspiron. The ruins of Tour de Lhers and fragments of the walls that survived after the religious wars today are privately owned. These ruins look very mysterious.
Another item on the wine tour in Châteauneuf-du-Pape you have to visit is the Museum of vine and wine (Musée du Vin Brotte). Museum collection tells about the life of wine – from growing vine to ready stored wine in the cellars, about old wine tradition in the region. On the area of 500 m² there are wine barrels, displays of old winemaking tools, press for grapes pressing of XVI century, archival documents and many other rarities. A wine tasting held also in the museum.
Visit a small village, walk through its narrow streets with nice houses built with local yellow stone, go to all the wine cellars that are on your way for wine tasting. Many travelers, who visited Chateauneuf-du-Pape, come back again and once again to enjoy an extremely cozy atmosphere of the medieval villages of Provence.
Outstanding people associated with Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
Events and Celebrations in Châteauneuf-du-Pape:
Joseph Ducos (1833-1910) - a former mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the Municipality of Vaucluse
Baron Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié (1890-1967) - an owner of the Fortia castle, the first winemaker in Provence and in the world
Anselme Mathieu (1828-1895) – a writer and winemaker in Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Jean Geoffroy (1905-1991) - Senator of Vaucluse, notary in Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Étienne de Tessières de Boisbertrand (1780-1858) - a native of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, deputy and Prefect of Vienne (France)
- Spring Festival in Châteauneuf-du-Pape - every year in mid-April
- Great medieval festival «The Veraison Feast» (Fête de la Véraison) - the first weekend in August
- Festival of Wine «The Harvest Banns» (Le ban des vendanges) - in September, during the grape harvest