It might sound weird but Châteauneuf-du-Pape has never been high on our list to visit. I guess due to very high tourism and the famous name. Never heard a negative word about this place, let alone their wines, so it must be too perfect. We don’t like ‘too perfect’. But hey, last Saturday was a very pretty day and we decided to go cruise around. But where to ? Still so many places to go see but writing this blog I started to feel a bit ‘obliged’ to have at least one article about this place and…yes, we were VERY pleasantly surprised…it is simply STUNNING !
Location & history
Châteauneuf-du-Pape lies about 3 kilometres to the east of the Rhône and 12 kilometres north of the town of beautiful Avignon. A ruined medieval castle sits at the top of the village and dominates the landscape to the south. It was built in the 14th century for Pope John XXII, the second of the popes who resided in Avignon. The Popes of Avignon built their summer palace here in 1320 to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Palais in Avignon. Apart from the foundations, only two walls remain of the château. They are the ones facing the village, and they are still high and imposing, giving a good feeling of what it was like here centuries ago.
The village streets are narrow, curving around the hillside or climbing up and down between the houses. The buildings are old, but everything is very thoroughly restored, and this is clearly a tourist town, and its purpose is to sell wine.
In the village, there’s a shop every few steps where you can sample and purchase the wine. Châteauneuf-du-Pape has its own well-know appellation, Châteauneuf-du-Pape as well as AOC Côtes de Rhône vineyards within the Côte-du-Rhône region.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first vineyard in France, in 1924, to have all of its wine protected as an established name, delimiting the area and method of wine production. This was the forerunner of the statues of the Appellations d’Origine Contrôlées (AOC).
Directions to the château
Just to the left of the church steps lead up the the wide, stone step-street leading up to the château. If you’re not up to handling the steps, you can drive. Go north out of town on the D68 to the first traffic circle (under 1 km), turn left, then left again on the next road south to the parking area of the château.
04 90 83 71 08
04 90 83 50 34