Monday, March 27, 2017

Big Châteauneuf Wine Fest April 8 & 9

The weekend wine festival called Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape, now in its eighth year, is a festive rite of spring here in the South of France. This year it's Saturday and Sunday, April 8 and 9, with a special day for industry professionals only, on April 10.  Roughly 85 domaines and châteaux will be represented, making this a wonderful opportunity to meet local producers while tasting their latest releases and a few smashing older vintages. It’s also an easy way to buy the wines you love, some of them normally quite difficult to get.

Each year the Printemps festival invites special guests from other regions and this year wines and winemakers from Corsica will be featured.

As in years past, there will also be special tasting workshops (Les Ateliers Dégustation) for which additional fees are charged. The first focuses on the Millésime 2007; it will be offered Saturday at 11 am and 4:30 pm and you can sign up here. The second explores the pairing of Châteauneuf with chocolate; that one is Saturday at 2 pm and the sign up is here.  Both will be held at the Ecole Primaire Albert Camus and are expected to sell out soon.  The third is a light-hearted initiation into the discovery of Châteauneuf wines, offered Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 am and 3 pm, at the Chapel Saint Theodoric. It lasts an hour, costs 25€ and includes your 10€ entry into the show itself. For that one you can register here or on site.

Eighty-one years ago, Châteauneuf was designated as one of the very first AOCs (Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée) in France.  The AOC decree was first created by Pierre Le Roy de Boiseaumarié (aka baron Le Roy), a winemaker at Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Château Fortia). The first year, there were five villages named: Châteauneuf, Monbazillac, Arbois, Cassis and Tavel.  And as the European designation AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) is slowly replacing the French AOC for agricultural products, you can expect to see more AOP on wine labels in the months to come.

Les Printemps is organized by by The Young Winemakers Association of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and takes place at the Salle Dufays on the Place de la Renaissance in Châteauneuf. Hours are 10 am to 7 pm on all three days.  Your 10€ ticket (pay at the door) 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.

A list of all participating domaines is on the festival website here.

For all the details click here and follow the festival on Facebook  and Twitter. If you have questions, you can email:

For general info about the wines of Châteauneuf, the village and the region, click here and here.  Or, you can call the lovely folks at the Châteauneuf Tourist Office: 04 90 83 71 08.


  1. can't wait to visit it, one of the best opportunity to the year in Chateaunneuf. And we'll get to taste the 2015 vintage which is supposed to be great. :)

  2. I would love to go to this......right up my rue and slow food too!

  3. Enticing! One of these years ...



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