The Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine festival, now in its fifth year, has become a festive rite of spring for wine lovers from all over Provence. This year's event, the fifth annual, will be Saturday and Sunday, April 5th and 6th, with a special day April 7th reserved for wine professionals. More than 80 wine producers will be on hand schmoozing, pouring and selling...this is a wonderful opportunity to meet local winemakers while tasting their latest releases and a few smashing older vintages. Also, an easy way to buy the wines you love, all in one place, some of them normally quite hard to get. This year, there will also be winemakers from the Northern Côtes du Rhône on hand.
Three extra-charge tasting seminars ("ateliers degustations") are scheduled but as of today, two were already full; see info on the remaining one here. The topic is pairing Northern Rhône and Châteauneuf wines with cheese, the cost is 30€ and seminar co-organizer Kelly McAuliffe, an American sommelier and wine guide, will be on hand to translate for those who need it.
Les Printemps takes place at the Salle Dufays on the Place de la Renaissance in Châteauneuf, from 10 am to 7 pm both days. Your 7€ entry fee (no charge for seminar-goers) gets you in all weekend and includes a tasting glass. There will be free parking...indoor and outdoor play areas for the kids...and food available on site. For all the info, click here for the event website; you can also call the Tourist Office at 04 90 83 71 08. For general info about the the wines of Châteauneuf, the village and the region, click here and here.