PREPARING YOUR WINE STAY
What is Châteauneuf-du-Pape? Is it the name of a wine appellation? The name of a village?
It is first of all the name of a town, which was once known as “Castro Novo” (later Chateauneuf Calcernier), and took the name of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 1893, when Joseph Ducos was the town’s mayor.
It is also the name of the wine appellation, the first “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” in France following a decree on 15 May 1936, which was the result of a campaign by Baron Le Roy de Boiseaumarié (see the commemorative plaque on Place de la Renaissance).
Find out more + Brotte Wine Museum.
What is the best wine estate?
There is no official classification for the wines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As a result, it is hard to say what is the best wine. Several criteria need to be taken into account: your own tastes, your budget, the year, etc.
Nonetheless, there is an annual contest between the different Châteauneuf winemakers: the Concours de la Saint Marc. A jury of professionals select the best wines after a blind tasting, making use only of their eyes, noses and taste buds! The result is announced at a big banquet bringing together hundreds of people: winemakers, wine merchants, political representatives, personalities and people who love Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines. Four winners are chosen: the best red and white wine from the most recent harvest, and the best red wine and white wine from an older vintage. For the winemakers, being in the top three or being selected as one of the runners-up is the supreme honour. The diplomas are genuine trophies, displayed in wine-tasting cellars, and reminding visitors of the award that has been won.
The results of the contest are published on the Châteauneuf-du-Pape winemakers’ federation website: www.chateauneuf.com/concours-de-la-saint-marc-le-palmares-2015
Tips for tasting and buying wine
Try to taste wines from different estates and in different wine-tasting cellars to compare wines and prices. Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are very rich and varied.
Please note that you will need to make an appointment for tastings at some estates.
Where can I taste wine and visit a wine estate?
Almost all the estates and wine-tasting cellars are open to the public. All the relevant information is given on the Tourist Office site.
Please note, reservation is often required for visits.
Are the prices the same on wine estates as in the village?
It depends. Some wine estates have a wine-tasting cellar in the centre of the village if the estate itself is a relatively long way from the town. In this case, the prices are the same. Other estates only have a wine-tasting cellar on site.
Where can I taste several wines in just one place?
- Vinadéa, the House of Wines for Châteauneuf-du-Pape
- The Best Vintage
- La Cave du Petit Serre
- Le Verger des Papes
- Les Caves Saint Charles (by appointment only)
- Le Cellier des Princes (the only cooperative wine-cellar for Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines, in the town of Courthézon)
- Le Palais du Vin in Orange
Are the wine estates open on weekends and public holidays?
Some estates are open at the weekend, but not all. You need to check the opening days for each estate to avoid an unpleasant surprise.
See the list of wine estates in the section “Exploring the vineyards".
What is the difference between a wine estate, a château, a cellar and the wine-storage cellars?
Wine estate: the wine estate consists of vineyards around a property and the cellar where the wine is made.
Château: this is also a wine estate. The word “Château” is used for estates built around an ancient residence of the “château” type.
Wine-tasting cellar: in Châteauneuf-du-Pape there are many wine-tasting cellars in the village, which is what makes Châteauneuf-du-Pape so unique, since the winemakers always invite visitors to taste their wines in a warm and welcoming atmosphere!
Wine-cellar (chai): place where the wine is made.
Wine-storage cellar: place where the wine is aged in barrels or casks.
What does SRG (Site Remarquable du Goût) mean?
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation was awarded the “Remarkable Taste Site” label in September 2006.
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