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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Pleasure Wine: Châteauneuf-du-Pape

 

Discover the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation

 

The Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard was unofficially created in 1316, when Pope John XXII had his employees plant a few grapevines near the city of Avignon (Rhône Valley), in a little commune called Châteauneuf-Calcernier. The pope's vineyard could produce red wine as well as white wine, and the local appellation at the time was simply "Vieille Vigne" (the French for "old vine").

Years went by and the tiny 8 hectares vineyard grew bigger, as did its popularity. It so happened that the clergy was very fond of the wine from Châteauneuf, which helped a lot. During the 18th century, the court of Louis XVI was also enamored with everything that came from there. The Châteauneuf wines even found their way to the New World! Unfortunately, it all stopped when the phylloxera crisis of 1860 hit the vineyard.

Châteauneuf was in ruins, but it came back stronger in 1893, when a single man decided to invest his entire fortune to fix everything nature had broken. That man was Joseph Ducos, and not only did he replant many grapevines (Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Grenache…), he changed the name of the appellation as well as that of the commune. Châteauneuf-Calcernier officially became Châteauneuf-du-Pape. From 1894 onward, the local winemakers organized and worked to register the new appellation, which they managed to do in 1936.

The soils of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are made of limestone, clay, marls, sand, pebbles and flint. A specific blend that's really perfect for retaining the heat of the sun during the day. In total, the vineyard represents more than 3,200 hectares of land, allowing the 320 winemakers of the region to produce up to 110,000 hectoliters of wine every year.

Browse our selection of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.

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