Val de Bénédiction Charterhouse
A charterhouse founded in the XIVth century by Avignon’s Pope Innocent VI. His tomb with recumbent statue can be found in the convent’s church. A remarkable ensemble made up of the small and large cloister, as well as the chapel’s frescoes by Matteo Giovanetti, who also did those in the Palais des Papes. The monk’s quarters are now occupied by live in artists. A serene environment conducive to creativity. 58 rue de la République. Tel.: +33 4 90 15 24 24 24 24
Among vines and scrublands. It is in a nice stone farmhouse that the Michelin starred chef Serge Chenet lets his talent run loose. The Tarbais beans are treated with respect and we really enjoyed the cod brandade served with a vinaigrette and tapenade. Mas de Bruno, Chemin des Falaises. Tel.:+ 33 4 90 95 20 29
Rouge Garance Estate. Discreet but passionate, Claudie and Bertrand Cortellini along with the actor Jean-Louis Trintignant, bought a small vineyard of 29 hectares. The vines are cultivated following organic methods. The view from the estate over the antique Pont du Gard is remarkable, which makes tastings their wines only more enjoyable, a range of Garance, Little Garance and Feuille de Garance blends. Tel.: +33 4 66 37 06 92. 30210 Saint-Hilaire d’Ozilhan. www.rougegarance.com
The Cave de Tavel. In the city of rosé wine, Tavel takes pride of place in the « cave ». With over eighty wine growers that produce Tavel as well as neighbouring wines such as the Lirac and the Côtes du Rhône, to taste or take away. Route de la Commanderie. Tel.: +33 4 66 50 03 57
Joncier estate. Marine Roussel’s estate is in Tavel, but its vineyard is on the Lirac appellation area. 32 hectares planted on a plateau with large worn pebbles that draw heat in, starve the soil from nutrients and allow the roots to penetrate deeper, ideal for vines! Marine, fascinated by the texture of pebbles, is also passionate about sustainable cultivation methods and vinification, techniques that she has developed and integrated little by little. Certified Demeter in 2005, her wine is powerful and elegant. A nice discovery, the La Soumise and Le Maudit blends are classified “Vin de Pays”. The Muses, a red from the Lirac appellation is atypical. 30 126 Tavel. www.domainedujoncier.com
Château d’Aquéria . The Bez family takes care of a part of the 98 hectare estate previously owned by the Count d’Aquiéra de Rochegude. Vincent and Bruno produce Tavel, Lirac and Côtes du Rhône wines. The XVIIIth century house surrounded by vines is elegant, just like the Tavel Château d’Aguiéra blend, ruby in colour with aromas of fresh and intense fruits. www.agueria.com
La Mordorée estate. La Mordorée is the poetic name given to woodcock. The primary blend of the La Reine des Bois estate is declined in Tavel, Lirac, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Condrieu. Christophe and Fabrice Delorme, as artisanal wine makers, take the time to observe the forty three plots that form their vineyard and use work horses for some of them. The estate, created in 1986 by the two brothers, is particularly renowned for its Tavel rosé that rakes in the commendations. Other vintages are also on the honours list. The 2011 Lirac blanc, a blend of nine grape varieties, is floral when you taste it, long on the palate, with notes of iris and jasmin. www.domaine-mordorée.com
The Lirac wine cellar. At the entrance to the village of Saint Laurent des Arbres, this cellar brings together one hundred and thirty wine growers over the four villages of the Lirac appellation : Lirac, Saint Laurent des Arbres, Saint-Geniès-de-Comolas and Roquemaure. Tel.: +33 4 66 50 01 02
Saint-Laurent des Arbres
A medieval village, typical and picturesque, with three classified monuments, that is worth the trip.
Château Le Devoy Martine . The Lombardo have been wine growers for four generations. Vito and Antonio, Guiseppi’s sons, leave Sicily for Tunisia. Joseph and March leave Tunisia for their mother’s homeland, France. They settle in the Lirac vineyards at the Devoy Martine château, the former hunting lodge of the Marquis of Martine in the XIIIth century. It is now the turn of Marc and Véronique Lombardo to inject new life into their vineyards by adopting sustainable culture methods. Worn pebbles, clay, sand and limestone, the soil on their land produces light, elegant and refined wines, such as the Lirac Via Secreta vintage, a white wine with aromas of pear and elderflower. www.chateaudevoymartine.fr
Château Gigognan. Towards the end of the XVIIIth century, the Gigogna Priory la fin du XVIII°, le Prieuré de Gigognan fell within the jurisdiction of the monastery of the Celestine fathers of Avignon. Vines, fruit trees and olive trees are cultivated there. The former monastery was converted into a château with a superb 72 hectare wine estate, 30 hectares of which are earmarked for the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. Jacques Callet has surrounded himself with a highly competent team. You’ll find modern cellars, a welcoming tasting vault and luxurious guest rooms converted from one of the wings of the château. Gigognan was awarded the “Terroir et Accueil” label to reflect this. www.chateau-gigognan.fr
Vieux Télégraphe estate, Brunier vineyards. One doesn’t tire of praising the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines from the Vieux Télégraphe estate. Located since 1898, on the rocky plateau of “La Crau”, it is the symbolic heart of the appellation. The Brunier family, through generations, has driven their “Wine of Popes” to the summit and anchored their international reputation. www.vignoblesbrunier.com. Tel.: 04 90 33 18 47
The Castel Gandolfo of the Avignon popes A symphony of 13 grape varieties and one single appellation : Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The wine of popes is generous, tannic and concentrated. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leisure destination for the Avignon popes in the XIVth century, where the Spirit of wine reigns. The divine bottle is lauded in an « in situ » enclave with 120 wine estates and 350 producers in the neighbouring area. A most unique bottles branded by the pontifical coat of arms displaying Saint Peter’s keys underneath a papal crown. Here, vines plants of the thirteen grape varieties are planted together. Picking, harvesting… blending, it all happens in the basket! Châteauneuf-du-Pape was named « Site Remarquable du Goût » in 2006.
Le Château des Papes. In the XIVth century, this was the papal summer residence. Only a wall, the dungeon, the lower room and the wine cellar, which plays host to prestigious events, remain today.
Saint-Théodoric Chapel. The oldest monument in the village was erected in the Xth century, of Roman style with a single nave. Restoration works uncovered byzantine inspired frescoes in the choir. The chapel is open to visitors from May to October and hosts cultural exhibitions.
Château Fortia. A historically significant property, Fortia is one of the oldest producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It is assumed that Fortia was originally an outbuilding of the pontifical château. It is perhaps better known as the residence of Baron Pierre Le Roy, hero of the First World War, and a lawyer. Pierre Le Roy is still the wine maker and creator of « appellations d’origine » and the co-founder of the INAO (National Institute for Origin and Quality) www.chateau-fortia.com
Vignobles Mayard Estate. Françoise Roumieux, President of the women’s « Vignes Rhône » association, leads her estate with an « iron first in a velvet glove ». Her three Châteauneuf-du-Pape blends in red and another one in white are like velvet! Excellence is the driving word of an estate that pays tribute to the experience and skills of the Mayard family, whose fifth generation is represented by Françoise. The Clos du Calvaire blend, her grandfather’s former estate, one of the first men to “bottle” his own wine, produces a wine that is pure with a majority of Grenache grapes, supple, simple and round. Another blend, the « Domaine du Père Pape » in memory of Maurice, her father, is made from vines grown at the site of the « Grand Goulet » : a robust, warm wine that stands out with aromas of crushed dark fruit, cocoa and spices. The site of the Crau located 100 meters above sea level on large pebbles belonged to Marie-Louise, the grandmother. The Le Crau de Ma Mère blend produced from those grapes was chosen by the artist Michel Barcelo for his exhibition in Avignon. A special edition whose label is signed by the artist is on Tasted magazine’s Top 100 list. www.vignobles-mayard.fr www.femmesvignesrhone.fr
Beaurenard estate. The XVIIth century Bois Renard became Beaurenard over the years and has been the estate of the Coulon family for seven generations. Their collection of old bottles, some which date from 1880, is impressive. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Bois Renard reference blend is a symphony of thirteen blended grape varieties with Grenache dominating. The 2007 vintage especially stands out and was lauded by Wine Spectator magazine. Certified organic since 2010, the development of the wines from the estates focuses more and more on freshness, finesse and elegance. www.beaurenard.fr
Château de la Nerthe. « The excellent Nerthe wine » was served in the court of Louise XVI. The French poet Frédéric Mistral referred to the wine of the Nerthe as a “wine that brings out the flavour of a rabbit”. Gate, long drive, the XVIIIth century the building emerges from the vines and cypress trees. The self contained 72 hectare estate below to the cafés Richard family and is run by the oenologist Christian Voeux. A particularly pleasant visit is through the beautiful caves that date from the XVIth century, the wine library and the XVIIIth century wine store. The reception halls play host to VIPs and Michelin starred chefs alike, invited to created synergies between wine and food. www.chateaulanerthe.fr
Les Caves Saint-Charles This is the ultimate wine tourism experience! Guy Brémond himself is welcoming you in his cellar dating back from the 13th century, located in the center of the old town, only by appointment. He selects, just for you to taste, a range of wonderful wines among the domains and castle of the Châteauneuf du Pape denomination. When leaving, enjoy the panoramic view on the region. And if you want to see it from even higher, it’s easy: Mr Brémond offers helicopter flights above the vineyards!
10, Rue Des Papes tel : +33 (0)4 90 39 13 85 / +33 (0)6 03 46 47 37
The Tasting School. Located at the heart of the village in a typical wine grower’s cave, the School, with its team of oenologists, offers a whole programme of workshops throughout the year from initiation to tasting. www.oenologie-mouriesse.com
La Mère Germaine. Le owner, André Mazy, is highly knowledgeable when it comes to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine estate. He likes to make wine recommendations to match the food you have chosen. Don’t hesitate to ask him. We had trouble choosing between the different dishes and thoroughly enjoyed everything on the seasonal menu, including the vegetable tartar with lemon thyme and the cream of pumpkin soup with roast monkfish and boletus mushrooms. 3 rue du Commandant Lemaître. Tel.: +33 4 90 22 78 34 www.lameregermaine.fr
Château des Fines Roches. A medieval fantasy erected in the XIXth century for the marquis Folco de Baroncelli, the château-hotel of Fines Roches stands against a backdrop of blue sky just like on a movie set. The Japanese love it. Perched on a hilltop a few hundred yards away from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it feels like the true Château living experience. Route de Sorgues. Tel.: +33 4 90 83 70 23 www.chateaufinesroches.com
The Mousset estate cellars. Located below the château, the cellars and shop offer a large selection of Côtes du Rhône wines, liquors, oils… You’ll have no trouble filling your basket of specialties from the Vaucluse region. www.domainesmousset.com
This medieval city has preserved its XIIth century fortifications and a Roman church thought to date from Charlemagne’s era. The beautiful fountains will welcome and refresh you.
Château de Beaucastel. The former seat of the Lords of Beaucastel is now owned by the Perrin and sons family. Jacques Perrin was one of the first to produce organic wine in 1954 thus securing the estate’s reputation. The new lords of Beaucastel, Jean-Pierre and François Perrin, run their 130 hectares such gardeners of vines. Their cultivation methods are respectful of the land and its cycles enabling them to produce a great wine for each vintage. The special blend « Hommage à Jacques Perrin 95 » from some very old mourvèdre vines plants, with its ruby colour, aromas of cherries, blackcurrant, spices and leather, round on the palate and velvety, should be kept forever! Visits by appointment. www.beaucastel.com