Chateauneuf-du-Pape Continues

6 Mar

March 4

Our first goal of the day after breakfast (a nice little Boulangerie in Chateauneuf-du-Pape…pain au chocolate, croissant, and delicious coffee), was to drive to Avignon.  After a few missteps, we arrived at SIXT only to find that it was boarded up.  Lori called SIXT and they said to go to Marseilles, many hours away.  After a bit of arguing (in French and English), they finally acknowledged that there was another SIXT at the TGV train station, which we finally found after getting directions from a passerby (this is one of many times we are grateful that we speak some French…wish it was more).  Got another GPS and headed off to Sablet for our meeting with Sophie of Domaine Piaugier.

However, on the way we needed gas and why would that be easy?  At the first station – Esso – none of our credit cards worked ; not the first time by the way.  We were able to get gas at the next station – Elf – by going inside and dealing directly with the very nice workers there…another hurdle overcome.  Lori is beginning to feel like she is in a mythology book where the gods are having fun trying to find challenges to throw at us to see how we fair.

Sablet is a lovely town with very old stone houses and brightly colored shutters.  The people we see all seem happy to be alive, unless they are in cars and driving like they are on the speedway but, thankfully, not as fast or reckless as Italian drivers.   We liked all the Piaugier wines and will try to get a few in the store.  Sophie spoke English very well.  It was interesting to learn that the winery sold all of their wine to a cooperative until 1985 when Sophie’s husband started bottling their own wines.  Finally, after 25 years starting this year, they no longer sell any more wine to the cooperative. Vineyard Road visited recently and will be ordering wines from them…perhaps we can have some included that otherwise wouldn’t be ordered…another exclusive…and the wines are worth it.

Old Vine

After we drove to Cairanne to go to another Decouvertes.  It was interesting to try wines from Cairanne, Vinsobres (the most northern of the Southern Rhone), Cotes du Rhone, and Rasteau.

While we were there, we met Joseph, a man we had “eaten” dinner with the night before and he told us that we should stop at a booth of a friend to taste some wines.  The winemaker is the President of the Cairanne appellation. Domaine d’Aeria – Florida – the last wine excellent, others OK

Back to Chateauneuf-du-Pape for dinner.  We ate at a very cute little restaurant called Maison la Maisouneta, owned and run by a husband and wife.  Dinner was Fois Gras with a fondue of leeks, with fresh currants, a fresh fig, and a currant glaze on the plate..delicieux!  Next was Les Petits Farcis – tomato, zucchini, mushroom, and peppers stuffed with sausage and glazed with balsamic – very nice too as well as a Beef Bourgignon.  We had a smallish bottle of Domaine les Girard du Boucou Chateauneuf du Pape that surprisingly went well with everything. The next day we both weren’t feeling well and wondered if the beef was to blame…so, again, another late start…but the sun is shining.

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4 Responses to “Chateauneuf-du-Pape Continues”

  1. gears of war 3 for September 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Thank goodness some bloggers can still write. Thanks for this piece

  2. Cloaked Ninja November 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    That was some interesting blog post!

    • raypairing November 3, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      Thanks for the interest and comment

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