Châteauneuf-du-Pape of Course
No trip to the Southern Rhone would be complete without a visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Note this town doesn’t have the variety of shops found in some of the other Rhone wine villages. We had a fun time and would certainly recommend spending a day, just know that the town is about the wine and not too much else; oh the wine! (click on any photo to start a slide show)
Tour the Town and Ruins
Late May, the grape buds are just starting to flower
The streets wind up to the old summer palace of the Pope.
The Pope’s summer palace ruins.
Views out to the countryside
Avignon and the Palace of the Pope is off in the distance
Stop and notice the pretty details
Several ruins to explore
There are only a few non-wine shops in Chateauneuf-du-Pape
Lunch at La Maisouneta
La Maisouneta is a great choice for a meal in a fun, relaxed bistro atmosphere. Good homemade food, nice choice of local wines, and very reasonable prices. Menu du Jour including entrée, plat & dessert: 15€ Highly recommended!
La Maisouneta: a fun bistro
The dining room was nice, we were hoping for the patio.
We arrived a bit early, found we had a reserved table on the patio!
Don’t encourage her, she’ll try to get in every photo! Rosé from the next town over.
entrée: salad, fried zucchini (courgette), mushroom (champignon), chevre toast, cucumber soup
The plat was a simple steak frites, with a nice champignon sauce
No choosing necessary, have all the desserts!
The Wine Museum at Brotte
Our friend Thomas at Domaine Rouge-Bleu set us up for the museum tour and tasting at Brotte. He designed the recent update to the winemaking museum (He also recommended La Maisouneta). The story behind the Brotte “La Fiole du Pape” is fascinating and well worth reading.
Recently renovated, the displays are modern and up to date.
The French consider the Rhone as a single region, North and South.
3 vintages contribute the wine in a dusty distorted bottle of La Fiole du Pape
A tasting after touring the museum.
Chateauneuf – white and red
Visit and Tasting at Beaurenard
Our Minneapolis friend, Fred Petters, works for Worldwide Cellars, one of Domaine de Beaurenard‘s US importers. He highly recommended we visit them. Added bonus, we can buy their wines in Minnesota. Deal!
Domaine de Beaurenard is a biodynamic grower/producer making Châteauneuf-du-Pape from 32 hectares of vineyards, Rasteau (another of the named crus) from 25 hectares, and about 5 hectares of Cotes du Rhone.
Pierre and Melanie hosted us at the tasting room. Both are enology school graduates.
The Boisrenard wines are produced from the oldest vines, typically 80 years old. White CdP has always been important at Domaine de Beaurenard.
We loved the embossed bottles of CdP. Pope’s hat & St. Peter’s keys to heaven. Compare this to the papal crest!
A lovely lineup of wines to taste.
Reminder that fancy CdP wines still come from grapes grown in a vineyard.
Avignon is only a short distance away
The Palace of the Popes is especially beautiful at night.