I love my wine as much, if not more, than the next person. I could not wait to spend a day wine tasting in the Rhone valley region that produces some of the most famed red wines of the country, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. We departed Avignon and for Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, which was a beautiful scenic 30 minute drive through rolling hills sprinkled with grape vines and wineries on every corner. We stopped at our first winery past the quaint town of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape called Domaine Grand Veneur. It was my first time trying this particular type of wine, and after all the anticipation it exceeded my expectations- so smooth and delicious. We grabbed a 2009 bottle of red and were told to age it for 5 years for the intended maturity and taste of the wine. I haven't seen a bottle of wine last longer than a day in our house so this should be interesting, but we're planning on aging it until our 5 year anniversary to make it special.
Domaine Grand Veneur Winery
After stopping into a few other wineries along the winding narrow wine country road, we headed towards the town of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. The entrance to the historical city is at the top of a hill where the chateau ruins remain. As you walk down the hundreds of cobble stone stairs, you approach the fairy tail town with tiny restaurants and wine stores all boasting the best regional wine. We first popped into a La Cave du Verger des Papes, a cavernous wine tasting room to sample a vast variety of red and white wines from the town. After trying a good 15 types of wine, we settled on a bottle to take home and once again... age. All that wine tasting on an empty stomach made us ready for a feast. Unfortunately France is unlike America in that after 3pm or so, restaurants stop serving lunch or food at all in many cases. We sat outside at a cute little restaurant and ordered all that we could, a cheese platter, which actually turned out to be enormous and do the trick at soaking up some of that wine just in time for the drive back to our B&B. Chateauneuf-Du-Pape is a wine lover's paradise, and it makes a wonderful afternoon activity if you happen to be in Provence- just be sure to eat at lunch time to avoid an unnecessary wine rush to the head!