The 7th Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape took place on 2 and 3 April 2016. 85 wine estates were gathered for the whole weekend in the centre of the village to offer their wines for tastings. This wine fair was created by the local Young Wine-growers’ Association in 2010, and has since become a not-to-be-missed event for lovers of Rhône Valley wines, taking place each year early April.
This year, some 3 500 visitors came to meet passionate young wine-growers, taste their wines, and thereby discover the great diversity of the appellation.
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the first Protected Denominations of Origin in France. For this special occasion, winegrowers from the Arbois, Cassis, Montbazillac and Tavel appellations were placed under the spotlight and had their wines for tastings, alongside those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A special exhibition, “Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a cru along the years” illustrated 80 years in the history of the appellation, showing the public the specificities that make the international reputation of this wine, highlighting its history and the qualities of this unique terroir.
At the same time, themed workshops allowed wine-enthusiasts and wine professionals to gain a deeper understanding of wine, and of those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in particular, thanks to acknowledged experts of Rhône Valley wines such as sommeliers Kelly McAuliffe or Dominique Laporte, or old and rare wine collector François Audouze. Among the topics discussed, one can quote:
- Old vintages of Châteauneuf-du-Pape along the years
- Stemmed or destemmed, that is the question
- Culinary inspirations of a famous chef, paired with Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines (Pairing explained by Olivier Scola, chef of restaurant Ze Bistro in Aix-en-Provence, and sommelier Dominique Laporte)
Besides, a farmer’s market was selling local and first-rate products –all of them bearing either Slow Food or “Site Remarquable du Goût” quality labels-, such a Ventoux truffles, Carpentras strawberries, Bresse free-range poultry, Noir de Bigorre pig, Comté cheese, Cancale oysters, and much more! This meant that visitors could pick a plate at one of the stalls and enjoy it for lunch at one of the large tables laid out outside in the sun.
The Printemps de Châteauneuf-du-Pape ended on Monday with a morning dedicated to wine professionals. Some 300 French and international wine sellers, sommeliers, restaurant owners and importers came to meet the winegrowers and taste their new vintages (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2014 for reds, 2015 for whites).