Chateauneuf du Pape, the pope’s summer residence and vineyards

Chateauneuf du Pape village and ruined castle
Village and ruined castle

Chateauneuf du Pape is located about 20kms north of Avignon.

In the 14th century, John XXII built a papal summer residence in the little village.

The Pope was also a wine connoisseur and largely contributed to the development of local viticulture.

The many vineyards he planted produced the Vin du Pape (pope’s wine), hence the name of the vineyard and village which evolved into Chateauneuf du Pape.

The road that links Avignon to Chateauneuf du Pape indeed runs through a land of vineyards.

Chateauneuf du Pape village wine museum
Wine museum

They stretch to the horizon, covering the tiniest plot of cultivated land.

The AOC red Chateauneuf du Pape is a famous appellation from Côtes du Rhône and is mainly produced with Grenache grape variety.

Several small wine cellars and the Musée des Outils de Vignerons will allow you to discover the history and making of this great wine.

One of the building boasts a Roman wine cellar dug into the rock and continuously used since the Middle Ages.

Chateauneuf du Pape, a typical Provencal village

This picturesque medieval village boasts also a rich architectural heritage.

This includes the vestiges of the 11th century Chapelle Saint-Theodoric, which is listed Historical Monument, the 14th century Fontaine de Souspiron and the 12th century Tour de l’Hers.

Chateauneuf du Pape village
Chateauneuf du Pape village

A stone arch, probably an old entrance that once led to the castle, accesses the upper part of the picturesque village.

Sadly the castle was severely damaged at the end of WWII, but its ruins are still impressive.

They give a very good idea of the imposing size of the building, which boasted prime views over the plains of Comtat Venaissin.

The village attracts thousands of tourists, but you can escape the crowds by visiting in spring, as it is already lively.

Numerous festivals, wine fairs, wine tasting competitions and other events revolving around the wine theme, indeed take place at various time of the year!

Department of Vaucluse.
Coordinates: Lat 44.056556 – Long 4.831281

Photo via Wikimedia Commons: Musee du Vin – Village

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