Overview Products X-life - Measurably Better. Language EN DE. Are you sure If you click on "Delete all" all the items are removed from the cart. Back Delete all. Your Media. There are no items in your Media Basket. Use to add new elements button: Collect media. Note You can collect several media for one order in the shopping basket. Delete all. Order now. No entries were found. Yet so many times I have heard visitors express their disappointment at not really being given the chance to practice their French.
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All About Chateauneuf du Pape Guide Best Wine Character Style History
Your French language learning experience has never been so easy, fun, and fruitful. More info HERE. In some parts of the videos, my face will appear close up and profile so you can easily see how I make these sounds with my mouth. The audio files are composed of the most popular French words and the 50 most common French phrases. They are recordings of my voice, speaking slowly enough so you can easily grasp every syllable.
For you to be able to have a pleasant and efficient conversation with a French person, one thing is key… can you guess what it is? Or even worse if you think someone might make fun of you? Without a minimum of confidence there is no room for communication. Yet if you feel confident, you can afford to make a few mistakes here and there because people will still understand you. Generally speaking, most estates in Chateauneuf du Pape are small. However, there are a few very large vineyards. Mont Redon is the biggest estate in the region with hectares of vines.
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Only 24 winemakers control vineyards that are 30 hectares or larger. The majority of producers as you can see are small, family owned and managed estates. The appellation is divided into 5 communes, Chateauneuf du Pape, which is the largest area, followed by Orange, Courthezon, Sorgues and Bedarrides. Out of the 5 communes that create the appellation, each of those communes are further divided into different Lieux-Dits. A lieu-dit is a small, specific named place. Of these lieux-dits, the most famous is the La Crau area. Vines in that area produce some of the best wine in the entire Chateauneuf du Pape appellation.
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These various lieux-dits are the source and inspiration for many of the most famous names for wineries in the Southern Rhone. The majority of the lieux-Dits are situated in Chateauneuf du Pape. In fact, more than 75 different vineyards located in just that one commune. The 5 communes that create the appellation occupy a total of 3, hectares. These 5 communes and their lieux-dits are divided as follows;.
The soils found in Chateauneuf du Pape, with its combination of rocks, stone, sand, limestone and clay terroir would be poor for most living things. An easy way to look at the terroir of Chateauneuf du Pape is to follow the compass and move from the west to the north, to the east and finally look at the southern part of the appellation. In the west, where the commune of Chateauneuf du Pape is located, you find soils with various sizes of rocks, stone, sand, clay and pebbles.
In France, the various rocks, stones and pebbles are referred to as galets roules.
These rocks, stones and pebbles play an integral in the terroir and the development of the grape. The various stones reflect light to the vines, leafs and grapes. They also absorb heat during the day and radiate that heat to the vines during the cooler evenings, which aids in the development and ripening of the fruit. The rocky, stone filled terroirs produce ripe, concentrated, full bodied, intense wines. While many of the soils are riddled with stones, in the cooler terroirs found in the west, you also have deposits of limestone, which is perfect for the white wines.
Red wines from limestone provide intense garrigue aromatics. In the northern part of the appellation, where Orange is located, you have more sand, clay, pebbles, limestone and marl, but less large stones and rocks.
The sandy soils often produce the wine elegant, supple wines in all of Chateauneuf du Pape. To the east you find Courthezon and Bedarrides with sand, pebbles and marl and in the southern part of the appellation, the soils have more sand, gravel, marl, clay and limestone in the terroir. The clay soils are perfect for making wines with richness and concentration. There are two other important factors that help create the uniqueness of the wines from Chateauneuf du Pape is the proliferation of old vines.
Some of the oldest vines in France are in the vineyards of the Southern Rhone. There are numerous vineyards and parcels with vines that are more than years old!
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Most of these old vines are for Grenache. Old vines naturally produce low yields, delivering intense levels of concentration in the fruit, which adds a great depth of flavor, character and complexity to the wine. These old vines are not allowed to grow very tall. They must be kept close to the ground and are head pruned out of necessity.
This is to protect the vines from the often continuous, fierce mistral winds that can tear its way through the region. The effect of the Rhone river that runs through the often, hot, dry, appellation is paramount, because it provides much needed moisture to the vines, especially in the hot, dry vintages. The soils and old vines are not the only thing shaping the character of the wines. You also need to consider the weather. Generally speaking, Chateauneuf du Pape is a Mediterranean climate that often delivers hot, dry, sunny weather in the summer, with cool, but seldom freezing winter conditions.
The climate in the Southern Rhone is also shaped by its close proximity to the Rhone river. The mistrals, the name for the strong, cold, dry winds that blow from north to south are a major factor in the character of the wines. These winds, which can reach a velocity of more than 60 miles per hour, help keep the air and the fruit clean, while removing excess water. The mistral winds, with their positive effects are a part of why so many growers are able to use organic and biodynamic farming techniques in Chateauneuf du Pape.
The winds whip through the region about days a year. When the mistrals hit the region, they last from one to three days before dissipating. The mistrals are a key component to the region. In part, it is what allows so many growers to use organic and biodynamic farming techniques. The often fierce cold winds keep the vines, soils and grapes cleaner, more hygienic and help reduce potential disease as well as insect pests.
In the extreme hot, dry years, the mistrals can also help cool down the soils and vines. Of course there are also negative potential issues, especially to young shoots and vines, which can break, during the strong winds. From a weather point of view, Chateauneuf du Pape is a contender for the most consistent, luckiest wine producing region since Of course some vintages are better than others. But with the exception of the massive flooding that devastated the region in , vintage after vintage has ranged from good, to great and some years have even exceptional!
Chateauneuf du Pape is sunniest major wine producing region in France, with an average of 2, hours of sun per growing season. Climate change, due to global warming has affected Chateauneuf du Pape. The main change that has taken place is the dates for harvest, which have jumped from October to early September. When it comes to vineyard management in Chateauneuf du Pape, the trend at the top estates is a move to organic or sustainable, farming techniques.
There is also a movement that is taking a serious look at biodynamic farming techniques. As you can see in the chart below, Grenache remains the dominant grape in the region. Most feel the wine lacks complexity without a blend. With that in mind, blending is of key importance in Chateauneuf du Pape. However, today, the trend in Chateauneuf du Pape is to reduce the amount of Syrah in the blends. While Syrah is still added in small amounts to help add more color to the wine, producers have been slowly removing Syrah from the vineyards and replacing it with other grape varietals.
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In the future, you might see a slight increase in plantings of Counoise and Cinsault to help reduce alcohol as temperatures continue to rise. Grenache is the dominant grape in the region. After Grenache, the next two important grapes used to produce blends in Chateauneuf du Pape are Syrah and Mourvedre. Grenache is not only prized by local growers in Chateauneuf du Pape today, it has been sought after by winemakers from other regions for centuries to add depth and soft textures to their wines for ages.
There was a time when Bordeaux blended Syrah from Hermitage hoping to add more tannic backbone to their wine. Burgundy was a major importer of Grenache for ages. Several Burgundy producers blended a portion of Grenache into their wine with the purpose of adding sweetness, silky textures and body to their wine. This practice no longer takes place in either region. The unique climate and Southern Rhone terroir of Chateauneuf du Pape helps the grapes achieve ripeness that few other regions can come close to.
However, being so far south has its good and bad points. The high summer heat coupled with a lack of moisture can actually block the grapes, especially the Grenache from developing full, phenolic ripeness, even when sugars continue to develop, which can lead to wines very high in alcohol. If, or when that happens, Chateauneuf du Pape is one of the places where the art of blending really shines.
Quite often the blend of Grenache with Mourvedre and some of the other assorted varieties truly makes the wine. If the climate continues to become warmer over the next few decades, I would guess grapes like Mourvedre could become even more important. Today, there are hundreds of growers and winemakers in the Chateauneuf du Pape region. More producers than ever are committed to making the best wines possible.
This was not always the case. Much of the credit for the growth in quality and popularity in the region belongs to the wine critic Robert Parker. His constant championing of the wines from the Rhone earned the area fame and a lot more fortune. Prior to Robert Parker, very few producers from the region made great wine.
In the 21st century, More than domaines make fabulous wines at a myriad of different price points. Of course people bought some wines from the region prior to Robert Parker. But prices were low and producers did not have the money to reinvest in their estates in those days. We did not have much money. We were happy. But we could not buy new cars and even our bicycles were handed down from our older brothers or sisters.