Monday, February 18, 2008


The name of this Rhône Valley town means Pope's Newcastle in English. It's within sight of Avignon, seat of the popes after their exile from Rome in the 14th Century. There is very little remaining of the old "new" castle - just part of the donjon walls and some foundations. It's a small town of about 2,000 Castels-Papals.

Steps lined with wine lead up to the ruined castle.

Aside from that, the town is best known for its wine. Thirteen varietals are authorized to make the various wines in this AOC: syrah, mourvèdre, cinsault, cournoise, muscardin, picpoul, grenache, bourboulenc, clairette, roussane, vaccarèse, picardan, and terret noir. Grenache is the predominant varietal in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and ninety-nine percent of the production is red.


  1. My favorite red wine! It comes in a (simulated) old dusty, a bit crooked bottle with a parchment label reading: La Fiole du Pape, mis en bouteille par Père Anselme, châteauneuf-du-pape, (vaucluse) france. I collect the bottles... after I drink the wine, of course! Never thought I would see the castle. Did you meet Père Anselme on the steps?

  2. claudia, nope, no Père Anselme. We were pretty much the only people there!


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