Wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape
A Renowned Wine Region in France’s Rhône Valley
In simple terms, one can describe this region as a historic village that is located perfectly between the towns of Orange and Avignon.
With nearly 3,200 hectares of vineyards, this region is producing more than 110,000 hectolitres of wine every year.
Thus, the total wine production in this single area in the southern Rhône Valley is more than the total quantity being produced in the whole northern Rhône region.
With this, you should have understood the significance of learning about this wine region. Continue reading to know more here…
What history says about Châteauneuf-du-Pape?
Literally, the term Châteauneuf-du-Pape means “The Pope’s new castle”. In fact, the history of this particular French appellation is strongly linked to the papal history.
In the early fourteenth century, the neighbouring town, Avignon, was selected as the home for the Pope’s court.
The pope of that time was Clement V. He and other subsequent popes were great lovers of Burgundy wines and they worked much to promote them during the papal history.
However, according to the history, the viticultural activities in and around the town were started even before the Avignon Papacy.
They were said to have initiated by the Bishops of Avignon for local consumption. To put it simply, the region was associated with wines for centuries.
The birth of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation
As such, the town’s wines were grouped together with the other wines of the Avignon region until the early twentieth century.
It was during the 1920s that the Baron Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié wrote a set of regulations for quality wine production in the town, which later became the precursors for the world-famous French appellation.
Subsequently, the official Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation was launched in the year 1929.
This way, this appellation became one among the very first appellations of France and remains prestigious till date.
Geography and Climate of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
When geographically observed, this AOC region is extending from the eastern bank of the Rhône Valley in the northwest to Sorgues in the southeast.
Thus, this region is perfectly placed between the neighbouring towns as mentioned above. The soils of this region are found to be pebbly and sandy just like the other regions in the southern Rhône Valley as these regions are formed of ancient riverbeds of different ages.
When it comes to climate, the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region is found to be experiencing a Mediterranean type of climate and is very dry.
Technically, we can say that Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the driest wine appellation of Rhône Valley. Here, the strong Mistral wind will carry away the moisture, thereby, intensifying the dryness.
In the north and north-eastern parts, the rocks of this region are popular for retaining the heat from the sunlight (2800 hours/year) and releasing it during the night-time.
This phenomenon enables the grapes to get ripened faster when compared to the grapes cultivated in the eastern parts.
Wines and Wine Grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape
If you have already known about the region, you would be thinking that the region is all about red wines. Not only it’s you, but for most people, Châteauneuf-du-Pape means red wine.
This is quite understandable as white wines contribute to only 7% of the total wine production here. In the red side, the region is popular for strong, full-bodied red wines being made from the classic grape trio, Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.
Although 18 grape varieties are approved for use in the appellation, these three play a significant part in most of the wines. We can say Grenache is the king here.
The other key grape varieties of the region are:
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