Wine Wednesdays – Châteauneuf du Pape and Les Caves St. Charles

I’m back, sorry for the absence, lots going on around here.  But I still have so much to catch you up on!  First, a preview to our Euro-travels.  We spent our first day in France visiting Châteauneuf du Pape.  The city is known as the “new castle of the Pope” named for the palace in which the first Pope of France (Pope Clement V) resided in the 14th century.  There’s your history lesson for the day!

The city is perhaps the most well-known region within the Rhône Valley.  Châteauneuf du Pape is not only the name of the city, but also the name of the wine produced from the region.  As many as 13 different varietals can be blended to make up a bottle of Châteauneuf   However, most are a blend of predominantly Grenache and Syrah.  

We enjoyed a lovely lunch on the terrace of Le Verger des Papes next to the castle.  

After lunch we headed down the hill to Les Caves St. Charles.  We entered the 13th century cave and settled in for a tasting of some of the best producers in the region.  The lovely and knowledgeable Mathias led us through a comparison of old school vs. new school Châteauneuf so we could really get a feel for the region and stylistic differences of the wine makers.  

My favorite of the “new school” variety was Domaine de la Janasse 2011.  My favorite “OG” or old-schooler was the 2007 Chateau Jas de Bressy.  

Cave St. Charles also offers cooking classes in their cellar kitchen.

Châteauneuf du Pape makes for an easy day trip within Provence.  If you find yourself in the region I would highly suggest booking a tasting at Les Caves St. Charles.  
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