Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Avignon and Chateauneuf du Pape

Okay, who doesn't remember that old song about the famous bridge? The pont isn't the only thing to see in Avignon. There's also the Popes' Palace and the Cathedral next to it, the building with the gold statue on top of the bell tower. Avignon is altogether a charming town.

Just a few miles north of Avignon is Chateauneuf du Pape, a mecca for lovers of the wines of the Rhone region. We had made an appointment to visit Chateau de Beaucastel, one of the top (if not THE top) producers in Chateauneuf.

How do you like this soil? It's typical of the area - the top 12 inches is all like this - river rock washed down from the mountains and left here by the Rhone eons ago when the course of the river came through here. Below the rocks is a layer of clay, which holds water in this area of drying Mistral wind. Just imagine what the rocks do to the plow that clears the vegetation between the rows of vines....

Inside the Beaucastel cellars, we had a wonderful tasting session, surrounded by literally a million bottles of wine. Each vintage of their wine is stacked many rows deep in one of these vaults, and the rows of vaults continue on seemingly endlessly into the distance.

We thought we'd died and gone to heaven

1 comment:

neki desu said...

my favorite part of france! hope you didn't miss aigues mortes. what a great trip you had!