Chateauneuf du Pape and more

Villeneuve-les-Avignon Travel Blog

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Chateauneuf du Pape

We only lasted two domains. In some ways, it was enough. Two domains, a four minute drive from each other both making wine of the same appellation, but everything else was different.

We found out that you can choose among seventeen different varieties of grapes when you make Chateauneuf du Pape and we also found out that there are at least one hundred and seventeen varieties of people who make and sell them. The first place, in a small dark room we tasted 3 or 4 recent vintages, none of them exceptional to my tongue. It was all business, we passed all their computers on the desks in their office to get to the tasting room.

The second place, Domain Mont Redon, has a large room full of large picnic tables with a wall of glass at the end that afforded a view of the wind swept vineyard. There were about three groups of people that were tasting. We all got to taste about eight to ten wines with vintages going back about twelve years. We heard a lot about the vines, including that the wind was very bad at this time of year because it was breaking the new growth. A very pleasant experience and of course the wines themselves were more interesting.

We still had not learned how to taste wines without swallowing, so this second domain brought the tasting to a close as neither of us would have been able to drive after visiting a third.

We made our way back to Villeneuve-les-Avignon and found our hotel with some difficulty. We didn't get lost, we just had to go around the block and it took us forty-five minutes, given one way streets and rush hour and just general confusion. The hotel itself was probably our low point in lodging for the trip. I didn't get the air conditioner to work until I went downstairs to the desk where the desk guy did a forehead slap and went to a closet and switched the breaker on. We finished up the food we were carrying on our little terrace and went for a walk in the evening and had a drink in a dive. Suffice it to say that not all of France is cute and picturesque and the best part of this evening was the knowledge that the next day we would move on to Avignon with our hiking beckoning to us just beyond. 
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Villeneuve-les-Avignon