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    Blog

    The Grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    The Grapes of Châteauneuf-du-Pape

    Almost every wine book in print speaks of the 13 grape varieties of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but this count is not exactly accurate. If you factor in all of the color variants of those 13 grapes, you end up with 22 authorized grapes for this appellation!

    Grenache

    Noir

    Rose

    Gris

    Blanc

    Syrah

    Noir

     

     

     

    Mourvèdre

    Noir

     

     

     

    Cinsault

    Noir

     

     

     

    Vaccarèse

    a.k.a. Camarèse or

    Brun Argenté

    Noir

     

     

     

    Counoise

    a.k.a. Moustardier

    Noir

     

     

     

    Muscardin

    Noir

     

     

     

    Terret

    Noir

     

    Gris

    Blanc

    Picpoul

    Noir

     

    Gris

    Blanc

    Clairette

     

    Rose

    Gris

    Blanc

    Roussanne

     

     

     

    Blanc

    Bourboulenc

     

     

     

    Blanc

    Picardan

     

     

     

    Blanc

    Approximately 70% of the viticole is planted to Grenache. Syrah and Mourvèdre follow at a distant second and third, respectively. This means that all the others are just salt and pepper to a Grenache-dominant vinous stew.

    But clearly, red, white and pink-skinned grapes are going into these bottlings. Are there white grapes in red Châteauneuf-du-Pape? Yes. But, the red and white grapes are vinified together. There is no blending of red and white wines to make red Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

    Grapes Chateauneuf-du-pape

    This appellation receives the full brunt of the Mistral, a cold north wind. The Mistral desiccates the grapes. This is largely viewed as a positive as it concentrates sugars and flavor compounds. But a prolonged Mistral can also suck too much water from the vines, forcing them to close their stomata to prevent dehydration. This, in turn, shuts photosynthesis down, and can negatively impact maturity.

    A prolonged hot spell has the same effect. Photosynthesis shuts down once temperatures crest 95°F. Fortunately, it is sunshine that ripens a grape, not excessive heat. And the Rhône gets plenty of light…2,700 hours of it!

    1. Interested in learning more about or studying the Rhône Valley and its wines?

    Take a look at our Master Level Rhône Valley Course:

    And our 2018 Rhône Valley Immersion Education Tour!  

     

    Lisa Airey

    BY Lisa Airey

    Lisa has 13 years of experience working in the wholesale industry selling wine and training both distributor sales people and restaurant staff. For the past 11 years, she has developed and/or expanded international study and certification programs for wine trade first with the Society of Wine Educators and now currently with the Wine Scholar Guild. She was knighted by the French government in 2016 (Ordre Mérite Agricole) for her contribution to French agriculture (namely, the French Wine Scholar program).

    Other Blog Entries:

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