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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightFrance

A Wine Region Fit For The Pope

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  • Publish Date: Mar 9, 2010

What’s not to like about the words “Châteauneuf-du-Pape?” Seeing the embossed letters and crest on a bottle evoke thoughts of hot summers in the south of France, beautiful villages, and rich, full-bodied blends of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvedre. But the beautiful bottles of wine would not exist, if not for a rather significant piece of world history.

The episode begins in 1305, when a deadlock in the College of Cardinals was finally broken with the election of Bertrand de Got as Pope Clément V. De Got was a Frenchmen, rather than an Italian, and in a show of French nationalism, he moved the seat of the church to Avignon.

But Avignon’s "brutal summers" soon led to the establishment of a country retreat, and Clément chose a site ten miles north of the city on a plateau overlooking the Rhône River. He named it Châteauneuf-du-Pape, "the new castle of the Pope." Clément's successor, John XXII, first planted vineyards there, and his papacy’s enormous prosperity was partly due to the superb wines of the summer retreat.

Have a favorite wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape share it below.

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Mar 9, 2010
I recently tried a bottle of Domaine du Galet des Papes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 2005. It was delicious!

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Mar 9, 2010
My lovely, not over the top splurge wine from the Southern Rhone is Domaine Moulin-Tacussel Chateauneuf du Pape. It's delicioso! It's a bottle to be enjoyed over a relaxing evening. Gotta give it time to open up! Beautiful red fruit, good spice, and herbaceous notes define this bottle. A winner all around.

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Mar 9, 2010
Henri Moulin is a true gentleman. One of the nicest men
you will ever meet.

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