Wine Fit for a Pope

Our favorite restaurant in Châteauneuf-du-Pape has just opened it’s new wine cave. They serve the wines of the most prestigious French estates, such as Château Beaucastel, Clos des Papes, and Vieux Telegraphe. These three wineries only allow some of the big studs of the wine industry into their tasting rooms (i.e. Kermit Lynch and Robert Parker), so it’s great that this new wine cave allows us to taste some of these bottles with our clients. The place oozes with old world charm, cobwebs and dust on the bottles nestled into the mold ridden rock walls. This tasting room stays open later than the actual wineries, and another reason to visit Cave du Verger des Papes is if you are in town and don’t want to deal with the hassle of driving out to the vineyards. This cave is an ideal place to taste some of the best wines in the region!

Cave du Verger des Pape’s views are some of the best in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. When pulling into the parking lot, you are greeted by a mass Roman ruin of the Pope’s strategically placed castle atop a scenic hillside. The restaurant and wine cave are nestled right next to the ruins where you can enjoy savory French dishes such as the Nicoise salads, hearty lamb dishes, and top it off with delightful lavender ice cream. The restaurant itself overlooks the Rhone river and you are able to see the rivalry pope’s castle ruins in the village of Avignon. Olive trees, large white parasols, and Spanish tiled tables fill the restaurant’s exterior seating area where a light breeze and glass of rosé are always welcomed.

If that’s not enough, the pope’s very own ancient wine cave is located just below the restaurant with a tasting room facility for you and your friends to enjoy sipping some of the most well-known wines in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. The cave is dimly lit with tall candles dripping with wax that look as though they must have been there as long as the ruins themselves. Old wine corks and original vineyard clipping sheers from the 14th century line the walls that lead you to the dugout of the Pope’s wine fermentation facility. The crushed grape juice was kept in the lower holes of the dugout that hundreds of years earlier was gravity driven to the taller levels of the dugout to be bottled after the fermentation process had taken place. Once you’ve finished being taken back in time, you can enjoy tasting some of the exceptional wines of the region amidst hundred year old cave rocks.

If you are around the area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, I would definitely recommend taking a trip to Cave du Verger des Papes. You will not regret the charm, beautiful views, and amazing wines you will taste at this location!

Main photo courtesy of Rogier Bos Studios