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The history of this famous French wine in the south Rhone is closely related to the Roman Catholic church connected. In the years 1309 to 1377 the city of Avignon was the seat of the popes and from 1378 to 1408 two counter-popes. Clement V (1264-1314) was the first pope in exile to be set up here in 1309, followed by another six. One of them was Pope John XXII, born in Cahors. (1244-1334), who chose Châteauneuf Castle as the summer residence. This had the castle expanded into a summer residence and gave important impulses to viticulture. He let winemakers out of the area Cahors come, who founded viticulture here and produced a red wine called "Vin d'Avignon". This was the predecessor of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape, so to speak, but this term was only used in the 19th century. The symbol of Avignon reminds of this past with two crossed keys (that of St. Peter).
The boundaries of the approximately 3,200 hectare area were determined by a court decision in 1929, the recognition as one of the first appellations followed in 1935. The area classified as Cru (top appellation) lies in the southernmost part of the area Cotes du Rhone on the left bank of the Rhône. It includes the municipality of Châteauneuf and some locations in the municipalities of Bédarrides, Courthézon, Orange and Sorgues. There are many different types soil types from reddish-brown soil covered with stones, but also sand, gravel and clay soils. They are typical as Garrigue designated bush formations on shallow soils that the wines earthy Give tones with tart plant aromas. It is worth mentioning a provision that should ensure high quality through mature and healthy grapes. At least 5% of insufficient quality grapes must be separated (le râpé). The alcohol content must be at least 12.5% vol.
The use of the varieties is entirely up to the winemaker. 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%). There are also single-varieties from Grenache Noir, such as from Chateau Rayas, but also (rather few) wineries such as Château de Beaucastel that use all 13 varieties. The red variant accounts for around 95% of the production volume.
The different terroir or floors and any Cuvée (Mixed grape varieties) makes a generally valid description of this wine almost impossible, but there are usually two basic types. The traditional produced spicy Type is very dark, alcoholic up to 14% vol and can be stored for several decades. The second variant is with Maceration carbonique (Carbonic acid mash) has one jammy Taste and resembles that Beaujolais, President Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) was a great lover of wine. To special vintages count 1990, 1995, 1998, 1999 and 2001.