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

Chateauneuf du Pape
wine tasting tours and winery visits

As seen in:
The Times
Daily Mail
Los Angeles Times

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.

Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is unusual in France thanks to the large number of grape varieties permitted in the region. There are 18 approved varieties in total, including some red and white varieties of the same grapes, such as Grenache.  Grenache Noir is in fact the most significant of all grape varieties in the appellation. Well-equipped to withstand the baking summer temperatures of the Southern Rhône, Grenache is blended with various other varieties such as Syrah, Mourvédre and Cinsault to create wines that develop earthy, spicy flavours as they develop. Good red Châteauneuf-du-Pape is usually to considered to improve with age, as wines that are too young for drinking can have a tendency to be overly stern and tannic. Be aware though, that Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines have some of the highest average alcohol levels in France, with increasingly hot summer temperatures meaning that total alcohol of up to 16% is not unusual! The whites here can also be delicious, with blends of grapes such as Grenache Blanc, Clairette and Roussanne creating rich, full-bodied wines in a range of styles from fresh minerality to exotic fruit and floral aromas. 
Read more »

Best time to visit

Spring and autumn are both beautiful times of year to visit Châteauneuf-du-Pape, when local produce is in abundance and the acres of grapevines are at their best. This area is on the cusp between the Southern Rhône and Provence, which means that the baking Mediterranean sun can feel a little overpowering in high summer without the cooling influence of the Mediterranean Sea to take the edge off! 
Read more »

How long to stay

This region is perfect for a long weekend visit. 3 days is plenty of time to experience the best of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and the surrounding countryside, as well as the hustle and bustle of exciting Avignon. If you are heading for a few days on the Provence coast, this is a great stop along the way!
Read more »

How to get there

The closest international airport is Marseille , around an hour's drive from Avignon towards the Mediterranean coast. The airport has excellent links with most major cities in Europe, as well as some further-flung destinations such as Montréal and the Middle East. However, a great alternative to air travel is the high-speed TGV train , which links Avignon with Paris in just under 3 hours 30 minutes and gives customers incredible views of the French countryside. If travelling from the UK, it's a great idea to take the Eurostar from London St Pancras - with a journey time of 2 hours, it's possible to reach Avignon from London by train in less than 6 hours, with none of the stress of a flight!
Read more »
Winerist uses 3rd party cookies to give you personalised content, advertisements, and to provide a reliable experience. If you continue browsing, you agree to the use of cookies. More details can be found in our privacy policy.