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Posted July 9th, 2012 in Rhone

Sharing the Love in Chateauneuf-du-Pape


I had the pleasure of joining Enrique on the trip of a lifetime to Austria and France. We had a well thought out itinerary of different producers to go visit. We started in Wachau, Austria and then worked our way through Burgundy, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Provence, and Corsica.


Erbalunga, Corsica


The places that we visited were aesthetically gorgeous and unforgettable.


One place stood out the most to me because of the experience with the producers: Chateauneuf-du-Pape. We arrived in the Rhone and started with a visit to Clos Saint Jean where we got a tour of the winery and were able to taste through several vintages of their wine. Next we met up with the passionate Marie Giraud; she excitingly gave us this year’s shirts promoting Grenache, the king grape of CdP! She drove us through the vineyard and showed us the vast differences of the vineyard sites. We saw the infamous pudding stones and the sandy soils where very old gnarly Grenache resides. It was amazing to hear her talk about her vineyards as if the vines were her own children. You could feel and see the passion exuding from her.  After our visit to the vineyards we all sat and tasted through the greatest houses of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape: Domaine Roger Sabon, Domaine de la Janasse, Domaine Marcoux, and Domaine Giraud. It was a fast paced tasting because we had so many wines to taste through. I diligently took notes on the different vintages, trying to soak up all of the insight the producer was giving us on the way they craft their wines.

In the evening Marie Giraud hosted all of us in her beautiful home. She made quite the spread, and everything was delicious!  She prepared multiple courses while the different houses opened various vintages. There we were, eating dinner with Marie Giraud, Isabelle Sabon of Domaine de la Janasse, Sophie and Catherine Marcoux, and Didier Négron of Domaine Roger Sabon. It was incredible. My favorite part of this was witnessing four different CdP houses coming together to break bread and share the wine that they are so proud of. It was amazing to see that not only do they make these incredible wines, but that they are all friends who share their triumphs and hardships of making wine with one another. We drank many different vintages of their wines but one particular wine stood out: the Roger Sabon 1959 Chateauneuf-du-Pape which Didier brought especially for Enrique. The wine evolved with every minute, it blew us all away! What an incredible way to end an incredible day.

Traveling abroad and visiting the wine regions in which I’ve learned so much about was an amazing experience. I have studied and looked over maps and pictures of what these regions would be like, and dreamed of one day visiting. Well, my dream came true and it was everything and more of what I could ever imagine. To be there in person, talking with the producers who have such passion for their wines was truly incredible. Seeing the stained hard working hands of the wine makers was touching and helped me understand the work that goes into tending to the vines. My experiences on this trip have only confirmed my belief that wine making is truly a romantic love story.

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One response to “Sharing the Love in Chateauneuf-du-Pape”

  1. Mariana says:

    Christine this is so beautiful, i want to see more pictures from your trip. Didier better bring a bottle of 1959 when he comes to visit next time!!! XOXOX

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