Convivial, playful, ideal for a den, or a tasting room (if you’re a complete oenophile), these probably date from the 1950-60s. Tufted leather seats, the barrels emblazoned with the appellation and coat of arms of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
What could be more fun?.
Price on request.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a French wine Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) located around the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhône wine region in southeastern France. It is one of the most renowned appellations of the southern part of the Rhône Valley. Vineyards are located around Châteauneuf-du-Pape and in the neighboring villages Bédarrides, Courthézon and Sorgues between Avignon and Orange and cover slightly more than 3,200 hectares or 7,900 acres (32 km2). Over 110,000 hectolitres of wine a year are produced here. More wine is made in this one area of southern Rhône than in the entirety of the northern Rhône region.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape roughly translates to “The Pope’s new castle” and, indeed, the history of this appellation is firmly entwined with papal history. In 1308, Pope Clement V, former Archbishop of Bordeaux, relocated the papacy to the town of Avignon. Clement V and subsequent “Avignon Popes” were said to be great lovers of Burgundy wines and did much to promote it during the seventy-year duration of the Avignon Papacy. At the time, wine-growing around the town of Avignon was anything but illustrious. While the Avignon Papacy did much to advance the reputation of Burgundy wines, they were also promoting viticulture of the surrounding area, more specifically the area 5-10 km north of Avignon close to the banks of the Rhône River. Prior to the Avignon Papacy, viticulture of that area had been initiated and maintained by the Bishops of Avignon, largely for local consumption.
Clement V was succeeded by John XXII who, as well as Burgundy wine, regularly drank the wines from the vineyards to the north and did much to improve viticultural practices there. Under John XXII, the wines of this area came to be known as “Vin du Pape”, this term later to become Châteauneuf-du-Pape. John XXII is also responsible for erecting the famous castle which stands as a symbol for the appellation.
In the 18th century, the wines were shipped under the name vin d’Avignon. Records from the early 19th century mention wines of the name Châteauneuf-du-Pape-Calcernier which seems to have been a lighter-style wine than the Châteauneuf-du-Pape of today. They seem to have increased in reputation within France until phylloxera hit in the early 1870s, which was earlier than most other French wine regions were affected . Prior to World War I the bulk of Châteauneuf-du-Pape was sold to Burgundy as vin de médecine to be added to Burgundy wine to boost the strength and alcohol levels.
In the early 20th century, Châteauneuf-du-Pape was plagued by wine fraud; various rules for the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, drawn up and promulgated in 1923, were the first Appellation Contrôlée rules in France, and provided the prototype for subsequent AOC rules. The original AOC rules allowed ten varieties, and were amended to thirteen in 1936, and eighteen in 2009. Baron Pierre le Roy of Château Fortia was the principal architect of these regulations, which set the minimum alcohol level of the wines and set limits on yields as well as which types of grapes could be grown in which area. Another one of the Baron’s requirements was that no vineyards could be planted on land that wasn’t arid enough to support plantings of both lavender and thyme. The producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape have historically been known to be fiercely protective of their vineyard properties which is said to have led to the 1954 passing of a municipal decree in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape that banned the overhead flying, landing or taking off of flying saucers in the commune. As of 2007, this law has yet to be repealed.