CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE AOC
The history of Chateauneuf du Pape wines is closely linked to that of the papacy in Avignon. In 1314 the village became the summer residence of the popes and it was John XXII who ordered the construction of the castle in 1317. The sovereign pontiff particularly appreciated the wine of Châteauneuf du Pape. He named it "Vin du Pape" and strongly contributed to the development of the vineyard.
Centuries went by and the success of this nectar did not cease over time. With the development of the wine trade, it was necessary to fight against counterfeiting and to guarantee the origin and quality of the wines: the concept of appellation of origin was born. In 1936, thanks to the investment of Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié (winegrower in Châteauneuf du Pape) and Joseph Capus (Minister of Agriculture and friend of Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié) Châteauneuf du Pape officially became the first AOC in France. Today the AOC Châteauneuf du Pape is :
- The most famous appellation of the Rhone Valley
- 3200 hectares of vineyards
- Strict specifications that guarantee quality (manual harvesting, extremely regulated irrigation, low yields to favor quality over quantity...)
- Nearly 300 winegrowers spread over 5 communes who work with passion to produce the best red and white wines of Châteauneuf du Pape.
TERROIR AND GRAPE VARIETIES OF CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE
The wines of Chateauneuf du Pape benefit from an incredibly rich terroir. What is hidden behind the notion of terroir?
The terroir is composed of three fundamental elements that characterize a wine: the soil, the climate and the human dimension. The vines of Châteauneuf du Pape take root on different types of soils: sand, saffron, pebbles, clay and limestone. Each one brings specific characteristics to the wine: finesse, power, color intensity, balance, aromas...
The Châteauneuf du Pape vineyard benefits from a Mediterranean climate with mild winters, dry summers and a lot of sunshine throughout the year. The Mistral, a dry wind coming from the north, also plays an important role in reducing the risk of diseases.
Concerning the grape varieties, Grenache is the dominant grape variety of the AOC Châteauneuf du Pape. This variety of Spanish origin flourishes in the southern Rhone Valley where it is called the "king grape". It is often accompanied by Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsaut which are emblematic grape varieties of the region.
Have you ever heard of the 13 grape varieties authorized in the blend of Châteauneuf du Pape wines? There are eighteen in reality because some of them come in pink, grey and white subvarieties. Producers are also allowed to produce wines from only one of these 18 varieties (this is called wines from single varieties).