When the Black Plague swept through the Papal city of Avignon in 1348 killing so many that the Rhone was choked with the bodies of the dead, the Pope and his court decamped upriver to the Papal summer palace at Chateauneuf-du-Pape ("the Pope's new Chateau"), which had been begun by Pope John XXII in 1317. The presence of the Papal court drove demand for the local wines, and the area's fame as a wine producing region began to grow. By the 18th century, the wines of Chateauneuf were famed throughout Europe.
In 1933, Chateauneuf was granted appellation controlee status, one of the first created.
The key to the quality of the wines of Chateaneuf lies in the geology of the district. Perched high on a plateau, the vines are planted in a soil covered in large "galets" - quartzite cobbles from a few inches to nearly a foot across. These stones absorb heat all day and re-radiate it onto the vines at night, generating an amazing degree of ripeness. In fact, Chateauneuf has the highest minimum alcohol requirement of any appellation in France!
Domaine Saint Patrice
Domaine Saint Patrice has at its origins the Clos Saint Patrice, one of the very few monopole clos in Chateauneuf. Considered one of the finest vineyards on the plateau, the Clos is planted in ancient Grenache and Mourvedre vines, growing in the distinctive silica cobbles that define Chateauneuf.
With origins dating back to the 17th Century under Louis XIV, the estate has recently been revived under the capable hands of new owners Guy Julian and his son Jerome, working with Samuel Montgermont, the charge d'affaires of the Maison Grandes Serres in Chateauneuf. Today the Domaine produces three wines- the Clos Saint Patrice, the Domain Saint Patrice Chateauneuf, and the beautiful Cotes du Rhone, made entirely of Chateauneuf fruit.
The wines are produced organically with deep respect for the terroir, vines are propagated via selection massale. Superb examples of the winemaker’s art in a clean, pure and elegant style.
Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes: Mostly Grenache with Mourvedre and Syrah. Spicy and rich, serious length.
Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes: A blend of 70% Grenache, with the balance Mourvedre and Syrah. Silky and elegant, and built to age for decades.
Chateauneuf du Pape "Clos Saint Patrice" Vieilles Vignes: From a 1.8Ha property in the heart of Chateauneuf, one of the few monopole holdings in the Appellation. Ancient-vine Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre, with extremely low yields. Superb and an undiscovered gem among the crown jewels of Chateauneuf.