Saturday, June 8, 2013

A day in Avignon wine country

When one think of Avignon wine, the first one which springs in mind is Châteauneuf du Pape.

However, there are numerous other wines, some more famous than the other but a lot to discover in a lovely surrounding (where you can mix villages and winery visits) just north of Avignon.

Since it is father's day and I shall go visiting my Parents soon, I decided, yesterday, to go and get some of dad's favorite wine and "reportage" for you.

I started my trip with Beaumes de Venise (about 45mn drive from St Remy), mostly known for its sweet muscat wine. When one say "Voulez-vous un verre de Beaumes de Venise", they will refer to the muscat one (without mentioning muscat).
Served for aperitif or dessert, I particurlarly like it.
My favorite is Domaine de la Pigeade where a bottle of Beaumes is at 12.30 €.
My second favorite is Domaine de Durban. The road is stunning and the views from there are spectacular. If you think you're lost while driving, don't turn around, the road takes longer than you might expect but your reward is at the end of the trail. (botlle of Beaumes at 10.50€)

The village also is a nice stop. Don't expect fancy shops and labels but tiny street and locations for great pictures and, of course, café.....

Beaumes de Venise

Domaine la Pigeade entrance

Then I head on to Vacqueyras, just a few miles away.
Vacqueyras is one of our upmarket wine. Located next to Gigondas, the Vacqueyras wine is, to my humble taste, nearly as good as the more famous Gigondas wine, with a 20% price difference.
My dad has been buying his wine from Domaine La Garrigue for the past 50 years so that's were I go. Really tricky to find, but the road will take you right into the vineyard. Not really a place to visit but more to buy local, made with passion wine and buy at the property. The cellar is certainly not the highlight of the place.
Vacqueyras however might not be my favorite stop but still, there are a couple of Café/restaurant I would like to try. The village always sounds quiet, which, during the season is nice...

The vineyard by the cemetery....

Domaine la Garrigue

And, since I was in Vacqueyras, I had to go to that sweet little perched up Village of Gigondas.
The tiny village is worth a visit just for the beauty of the place.
Wine lovers  won't be disapointed when popping into the Caveau du Gigondas. Here you'll be able to sample any of the wine produced under the Gigondas AOC (Appelation d'Origine Controlée). A nice way to journey in Wine.
Gigondas also hosts the fancy restaurant L'oustallet located on the main square. Le Caveau des gourmets (at the bottom of the stairs on the right of the car park when looking at the valley) proposes a fun wine tasting while lunching. A 1/2 glass of different local wine is served with every courses. Courses are served in small portion in verinne. Quiet a nice experience and you get to try the whole palette of the wine Gigondas has to offer.

La Maison du Gigondas with ALL the gigondas wines.

Restaurant l'Oustallet in Gigondas

Restaurant le Caveau des Gourmets in Gigondas

Gigonds tiny street

Pizza place in Gigondas, tucked in the village

Refill your bottle with drinkable Gigondas Water

Gigondas from the Valley, Montmirail Laces behind

And to finish my day, it would have been such a miss not to go to Seguret, one of the nicest perched village in the region.
Park your car in one of the free car park, walk up 100m, pass the 14th century gate and travel in time in this quaint little village where you'll find only a couple of shops, a Glacier bar by the central fountain, a couple of Art Gallery and a view from the church square located on top on the village....

Just love it.....
The quaint perched up village of Seguret

The XIVth Century archway entrance to the village

1 comment:

  1. Philippe!
    Merci for these great suggestions. When looking for good wines, I've found it's always smart to trust an elegant older Frenchman! (I mean your dad of course, not you!) Cheers!