Overflowing with history and life, the city of Avignon is a destination to visit absolutely. Capital of the Vaucluse and the Côtes-du-Rhône, this town will take you on a whirlwind of discoveries.
Avignon, the papal city
Avignon, called the "city of the popes", is the largest town in the prefecture of the Vaucluse department. Located in an area with rich limestone soils, it has greatly benefited from this resource. Moreover, the limestone rock is one of the components of the city walls that have remained intact for all these years.
Avignon is world famous for having been the residence of the popes in the past. Indeed, 9 pontiffs once lived in the palace of Avignon. It is therefore not surprising to see several places of worship in the city and its surroundings. Among them are the churches of Saint-Agricol and Saint-Didier, as well as the chapels of the Grey and Black Penitents.
The city of Avignon is also a great tourist and cultural point. It is home to 12 libraries and many museums. Did you know that? This town has inspired great painters, famous photographers and famous writers.
Avignon and the vineyards of the Rhone Valley
The vineyards of the Rhone Valley extend over 6 departments, including Vaucluse. Its southern part is close to Avignon. More precisely, the city is located in the southern part of the area.
This part of the Rhone Valley vineyard benefits from varied terroirs. Moreover, the climate of Avignon plays an important role in the development of grape varieties in this part of France. Under a Mediterranean climate, winters and summers are dry while in autumn and spring, the weather is rainy.
These conditions favour the cultivation of 13 black and 8 white grape varieties. The main black grape varieties are Grenache and Mourvèdre. For the whites, they are bourboulenc, clairette, white grenache, marsanne, roussanne and viognier.
These grapes produce a variety of wines: red, rosé, white, natural sweet and sparkling. To find out more about them, take a tour of the cellars near Avignon.
Places for a winery visit near Avignon
By visiting the different vineyards around Avignon, you will learn more about the transformation of grapes into extraordinary drinks.
For an oenological walk, go to the Domaine Saint Laurent in Courthézon. Located between Avignon and Orange, this property is run by independent producers. Here, you will discover the cellar and can indulge in various wine tastings of wines produced near Avignon.
Afterwards, visit Châteauneuf-du-Pape at the Mayard vineyards. This 43-hectare estate takes advantage of diversified terroirs. Its owners practice sustainable agriculture in order to preserve the environment.
The visit includes a discovery of the farm's cellars or the cellar of a 12th century castle. You will get information on the different winemaking techniques. Of course, you won't forget to taste the wines produced in the surroundings of Avignon.