North of Avignon: Chateauneuf du Pape.


Between Avignon and Orange you will find the beautiful village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape world famous for it's wine and vineyards.
The village overlooks the plain of Comtat and over 3 000 hectares of vines.
Pope Jean XXII chose Chateauneuf as the location for his summer residences in the XIV century, he then decided to plant vines on the dry stony land which surrounded his landholdings.
The wine production remained a secret for a long time but started to become well known in the XVIIIe century.
It was finally recognized officially in 1929 and bestowed with it's own appellation Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This appellation means that the wine production in Chateauneuf du Pape is subject to strict controls to ensure that the 55 vineyards produce an extremely fine wine.

North of Avignon.  CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE
North of Avignon.  CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    
 In the center of the village "place de la Fontaine" you will find a number of wine tasting cellars from the different domaines.  The cellar facades vary and some may seem luxurious while others are very plain.
Wander down the twisting narrow streets to discover their numerous beautiful fountains including the XIV° century Souspiron fountain, you'll see the ancient bread oven and olive press. You will discover the Papal castle built by Pope Jean XXII between 1316 and 1333.
Large worn stone staircases will take you up to the castle where the Popes lived until 1377.  Little remains after the many wars, a short stretch of wall, one of the high towers and a lower room. However from the ruins there is an incredible 360 ° panoramic view over the Rhône valley, Avignon and the papal Palace which can be seen in the background.
On leaving the village you will find an interesting little museum of wine making equipment at the Anselme vineyard. The Museum displays a large collection of wine making tools such as presses, barrels and many cork screws some of which date back to the XVI° century.