Châteauneuf-du-Pape (lit. New Castle of the Pope) is situated between Orange and Avignon in the southern Rhône, and is named after a papal summer palace that once stood in the town of the same name. Its wines were once entwined with divinity and known as Vin de Pape.
Today, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading red wine appellation of the southern Rhône – whose typically big, rich and full-bodied reds yield from 13 grape varieties (including a few white wine producing varieties). Grenache and Mourvèdre make up the majority of blends, others include Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Syrah. White grape varieties include Grenache Blanc and Roussanne.
Châteauneuf’s vines benefit from continual warmth as an unusual terroir of large galet (lit. round) stones, deposited by ice age glaciers, store the intense summer heat of the day and aid gradual ripening at night.