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The history of this famous French wine in the southern Rhone is closely related to the Roman Catholic church connected. In the years 1309-1377, the city of Avignon was the seat of the popes and from 1378 to 1408 two counter-popes. Klemens V. (1264-1314) was the first pope to be exiled here in 1309, followed by another six. One of them was Cahors-born Pope John XXII. (1244-1334), who chose Châteauneuf Castle as his summer residence. He had the castle built into a summer residence and gave viticulture important impulses. He left winemakers out of the area Cahors who founded winegrowing here and produced a red wine called "Vin d'Avignon". This was, so to speak, the predecessor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but this name became common in the 19th century. The landmark of the city of Avignon is reminiscent of this past with two crossed keys (those of St. Peter).
The boundaries of the approximately 3,200 hectare area were determined by court order in 1929, the recognition as one of the first appellations followed in 1935. The classified as Cru (Spitzenappellation) area is located in the southernmost part of the area Côtes du Rhône on the left bank of the Rhone. It includes the municipality of Châteauneuf and some locations in the municipalities of Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgues. There are many different ones soil types from reddish-brown, with stones covered soil, in addition, sand, gravel and clay soils. Typical are the as Garrigue designated bush formations on shallow soils, the wines earthy Give tones with harsh plant aromas. Worth mentioning is a provision that aims to ensure high quality through mature and healthy grapes. At least 5% of qualitatively inadequate grapes must be isolated (le râpé). Of the alcohol content must be at least 12.5% vol.
The use of the varieties is the vintner completely free. The usual mix is Grenache Noir (50-70%), Mourvèdre (10-30%), Cinsaut, Counoise, Syrah and Vaccarèse (up to 20%), as well as the white Bourboulenc, Clairette Blanche and Piquepoul Blanc (up to 10%). But there are also varietal types from Grenache Noir such as the Château Rayas, but also (rather few) wineries like for example Château de Beaucastel that use all 13 varieties. The red variant accounts for around 95% of the production volume.
The different one terroir or soils and any Cuvée (Varietal blend) makes a general description of this wine almost impossible, but there are usually two basic types. The traditional produced spicy Type is dark, alcoholic to 14% vol and storable for several decades. The second variant is with Macération carbonique (Carbonic maceration) produced has one jammy Taste and resembles that Beaujolais, A great lover of wine was the President Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970). To special vintages count 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2001.