Wine tour in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The splendid terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape offers great aromatic and full-bodied wines that have made the popularity of this Southern Rhône cru. All the wine makers belonging to the federation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine makers, scrupulously obbey the AOP specifications that dates from 1936 They elaborate their wines according to the different types of soils on which their parcels are located, using altogether their  ancestral "savoir-faire" and bringing out the best of their "terroir".

You'll be visiting great cellars in Châteauneuf-du-Pape from tiny very old cellars to more modernised ones. You'll be Lucky to be in one of the most picturesque and authentic vineyard in France as Châteauneuf has remained the same through time and faithful to its tradition and ancestral way of working the land and making wine. This tour is not available at the weekend as the cellars are closed. Ideally starting at 9 am, you'll be able to visit and taste wines in 5 different Châteauneuf-du-Pape Domaines. Explanation of course will be provided regarding the terroir and the methods of vinification. Please ask if you wish to visit big Châteaux -there are a few - they will charge you a tasting fee from 8€ to 14€ to be directly paid on their premises. Lunchtime in local authentic Provençal restaurant. Departing Châteauneuf 4. 30pm. Prices are in "Contact, tour prices and reservation" section.

Some facts and figures about Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard spreads out on five different cities and villages including Châteauneuf itself, Bédarrides, Sorgues, Courthézon and Orange. It covers 3200 hectares (roughly 8000 acres) with 3000 vines planted per hectare (roughly 1200 plants per acre), a 1/4 of which is organic. 95% of the wine produced is red and 5% white (rosés are not allowed in the Appellation). There are in total around 300 producers making 97% of the total wine in this area, the remaining 3% is vinified by a cooperative. The yearly production is around 100,000 hl (2,641,720 US gallons and 2,199,692 imperial gallons) and 14 million bottles are commercialised every year. Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the first French wine AOC passed by law in 1936. Among its requirements: 13 grapevines allowed (and Grenache is king!), a 12.5% minimum alcohol content, hand harvesting, grapes sorting, no watering, disbudding and green harvesting helping the low average yield of 31 hl per hectare (331 US gallons per acre and 276 imperial gallons per acre) that cannot exceed 35 hl per hectare (374 US gallons and 311 imperial gallons per acre). Such low yields ensure quality together with the specific terroir composed with limestone, the famous river rocks (galets roulés in French) and clay that bring strength and structure to the wines, but also sand giving more elegance-styled wines. Concrete tanks and large wooden casks (foudre in French) have always been used for fermenting and ageing wine in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (grenache fearing oxydation), and most wine makers have remained true to tradition and faithful to their highly expressive terroir.