This winter is a special one for Sylvie Vacheron, the vineyard owner, as “Le Clos du Caillou” is celebrating 60 years since its foundation. A source of pride for this property in Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf du Pape, as well as a surge of memories…
The summer is over. It’s time for the to-ing and fro-ing of grape-pickers and tractors wending their way backwards and forwards, from cellar to vineyards. Although there’s a lovely, friendly atmosphere, grape-picking is also genuinely hard work. It’s not always fun, particularly at the end of the day, when you’ve been bent double since early morning, labouring under a blazing sun. But don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you try this!
All French wine regions boast spectacular countryside and plenty of opportunity to taste wine, but the Vaucluse region offers all of that plus a wonderful climate, historic architecture and some of the prettiest villages in Europe.
The Berthet-Rayne family settled in Courthezon four generations ago. This is where they tend their vineyards, to the north-east of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation (some of their vines are over 100 years old!!!) on a clay and limestone soil with lots of rounded rocks, typical of the appellation.
For the last few years the Mouriesse wine laboratory in Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been developing wine tasting workshops for individuals and wine enthusiasts of all levels. Perfect for shattering the myths surrounding wine tasting; you will finally be able to find the words and know what to look out for when tasting a good wine or even an average wine. I slipped into an introductory workshop with a few beginners, to see if we could get away with telling the wine maker “This one’s got legs!” without being politely shown the door.
A huge chestnut cask dating from the 14th century and video screens, a giant press from the 16th and a museum of more up-to-date items; the Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Museum has been revamped. This third-generation museum is far from the conventional idea of a dusty museum full of old tools!
« Millévin » A festive celebration throughout the Côtes du Rhône to explore the primeur wines and other Cotes du Rhone vintages
Hear ye, hear ye, the wine growers are coming to Avignon on the third Thursday of November! Adorned in their finery, carrying their coloured banners, the numerous Rhône valley wine confraternities assemble in Millevin every year to celebrate their en primeur wines, Bacchus and wine, in general – in moderation, of course.
Like the “café gourmand,” served with a selection of sweets, the Côtes du Rhône is developing this new concept, clearly in tune with new eating trends.
Le Verre Gourmand will be launched in several wine bars in Paris, Lyon and Marseille by mid-September.
In their favourite holiday spot, the Popes of Avignon, big consumers and knowledgeable aficionados, knew how to develop winegrowing, for the great glory of this peaceful Provençal village.
In Vinadéa, the bottle with the Pontifical crest: the Papal tiara with the keys of St Peter has found its place…