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The story of Châteauneuf du Pape vineyard

 
 
 Ah! The vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape, what a legend! The story begins in the 14th century when the pope’s court moved to Avignon. John XXII, the second pope from Avignon, who reigned from 1316 to 1334, had a castle built as a summer residence on the heights of the village of Calcernier, several kilometres from Avignon, and renamed Châteauneuf du Pape in 1893,. At that time, someone had the idea to plant a small vineyard where “excellent wines were harvested”. This delicate nectar was known as the Pope’s wine, its prestigious name before becoming the internationally acclaimed Châteauneuf du Pape. The Châteauneuf du Pape Controlled Appellation was created in 1933, defining the production area and conditions.
 
 
An exceptional terroir

   
   
 Located on the left bank of the Rhone, between Avignon and Orange, the vineyard extends over 3,200 hectares. The Châteauneuf du Pape terroir is unique. The rolled stones (Alpine diluvium) deposited by the Rhone at the foot of the vineyards made the wine’s reputation. They retain the heat of the day and restore it to the grapes at night, accelerating the maturation process. The predominantly pebbly soil, in addition to other geologic formations and both sandy and limestone soils, all contribute to the diversity of the Châteauneuf du Pape terroir.

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13 Grapes

 
 
 It is often said that Grenache, the mighty grape of the Southern Rhone Valley, and the major constituent of these wines, shapes the spirit of Châteauneuf du Pape wines. Nevertheless, these wines are characterised by the richness and complexity resulting from the diversity of the 13 authorised grapes:

         Grenache Bourboulenc
         Syrah Clairette
         Mourvèdre Roussane
         Cournoise Vaccarese
         Muscardin Picardan
         Picpoul Terret Noir
         Cinsault

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  Vineyard management
   
   
 The production of great wines begins with sound vineyard management. Hard work in the vineyard, combined with the support of our teams of specialists, make it possible for us to get the most out of the terroirs that we have chosen on the basis of their potential. “Green harvest” (thinning the clusters), pruning and de-budding are used for the purpose of optimising grape maturation and more closely controlling yields (limited to 35 hectolitres per hectare of vineyard).

 Grapes are harvested manually (legal obligation).

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Vinification

 
 
 Vinification takes place under the careful control of in-house oenologists who work closely with our vintners. We are particularly attentive to the handling of the different vinification techniques that give the wine its character and typicity: sorting of the harvest, crushing, maceration of whole grapes, lengthy vatting and malolactic fermentation.

 The subsequent blending is the most delicate task and the one for which Maison Bouachon, like a finely tuned watch, requires a high degree of sensitivity and an accurate assessment of the effects of time on the evolution of the wines, in order to guarantee perfect harmony between the different grape varieties.

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Maturation

 
 
 Maturation begins as soon as fermentation ends and lasts until the wine is bottled. This period may vary from several months to several years. Maturation takes place in our wine cellars, in oak casks or in barrels, making it thus possible to stabilise the wine and bring out its aromatic and gustative qualities.

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