A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Chateauneuf du Pape

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Best wine tours in Chateauneuf du Pape

Why Visit Chateauneuf du Pape?

One of the most recognisable names in all of France, the red and white wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape are some of the most iconic in all the Southern Rhône.

Like so many other areas of France, the history of this region is a long and venerable one. The name Châteauneuf-du-Pape literally translates as 'the Pope's new castle', and dates back to 1308 when the papal seat fled Rome and relocated to the nearby town of Avignon. Thanks to the vinous appetites of a lot of thirsty bishops, viticulture in the surrounding areas began to boom and over the next few centuries improved to the point where Châteauneuf-du-Pape became one of France's most famous wines. One of the hallmarks of this region are the famous galets, the pale, round stones which cover the ground in some vineyards and are prized for their heat-absorbing qualities.

The village from which the region takes its name is tiny, with just 3,000 permanent inhabitants. However, despite its diminutive size, there are a good number of accommodation options, from tiny family-run B&Bs to more luxurious château hotels dotted around the countryside. However, if you are looking for a stay with a little more energy, then the ancient city of Avignon is just 20 minutes by car from the village and has a huge range of accommodation to suit every taste and budget.

Wine tastings and vineyard tours are in plentiful supply in the region, with over 300 producers crammed into an area of just 32 square kilometres. There is no better way to escape the heat of the day than with a tasting or two in one of the many welcoming cellars which proliferate throughout the region, with numerous historic buildings and ruins to spot along the way as well. This is also a wonderful spot for walking, hiking and cycling - the countryside of the Southern Rhône is spectacular and quintessentially French, with acres of rolling vineyards and undulating terrain to explore.

Avignon, meanwhile, is a fabulous gastronomic hotspot and home to some of France's most fascinating history. Nicknamed 'the City of Popes', this is where the papacy fled to in order to escape rampant corruption in Rome in the 14th century. The magnificent Palais de Papes became their new home and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In fact, UNESCO sites abound in this ancient city, from the world-famous Le Pont du Gard to the art museum Musée de Petit Palais, giving culture vultures ample opportunity to indulge. Once you've worked up an appetite, the city's wonderful Provençal-style cuisine provides ample sustenance. Excellent traditional restaurants are easy to find, with high-quality local ingredients at the forefront of most menus, and local favourites such as crêpes and olive oil are sure to delight. Don't leave without visiting the famous food market at Les Halles, overflowing with fabulous local produce which will have your mouth watering at every turn.

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