The Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes:
Standard-bearer of Avignon, capital of the Côtes du Rhône
The only AOC vineyard inside city walls in France, ranked as UNESCO World Heritage, the Clos de la Vigne at the Palace of the Popes looks wonderfully out over the historical city centre and the River Rhône from atop the Rocher des Doms.
Property of the City of Avignon, the vines have been enhanced by the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône since the first root-stock was planted in 1997. With the support and help of several partners, the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône manage the maintenance and preservation of this parcel all year long.
The Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône manage work on the vineyard in partnership with the vocational viticultural school in Orange.
The Clos de la Vigne at the Palace of the Popes joined the Urban Vineyard Association (U.V.A.) in 2020. This international association was founded to join the forces of European urban vineyards, protect their agricultural, historical and cultural heritage and promote their cultural and tourism value. The association, founded in Italy, has member vineyards in Torino, Sienna, Montmartre, Venice (two vineyards), Milan, Palermo, Lyon and now Avignon.
Replanting the Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes
Totally committed for over 20 years to working on and preserving the Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes, the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône replanted the vineyard and laid out the parcel anew following a series of impermeabilization works that had made it necessary to uproot the vine plants.
In a concerted effort to strengthen the close relations between the northern and southern
Côtes du Rhône, the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône planted approximately 540 rootstocks, from both the northern and southern Rhône Valley. This work was done with the assistance of the students at the professional Viticultural High School in Orange.
The choices respect the harmony of the Rhone grape varieties and also offer a unique chromatic and aromatic palette of varieties, a veritable educational showcase of the terroir.
A selection of 12 grape varieties:
For red wines:
Grenache noir, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Marselan, Counoise
For white wines:
Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Clairette, Viognier
A preserved natural environment
The vineyard is planted at the top of the Rocher des Doms, a high spot above the city that was where prehistoric man first settled in this area. Today a public garden, the Rocher des Doms is home to centuries-old trees and provides beautiful views over the River Rhône and the Rhône Valley from the Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes. So as to completely integrate the vineyard in its natural setting, the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône intend to enhance the space around the vines by planting species that are representative of Provence.
A place for culture and exchange, a showcase for Côtes du Rhône wines
Culture is a guiding light for the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône and plays a vital role in every action they undertake.
The Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes, a true showcase for the Côtes du Rhône, is thus a veritable venue for the generations to come, for interaction and exchange based on shared passion for vine plants and for wine.
Thanks to the presence of different winemakers and wine professionals throughout the year at various events prepared to share wine-making knowledge and expertise, people of all ages, nationalities and languages, whether simply curious or well-versed in wine, can have access all year long to events and exchange.
Tomorrow’s wine professionals can work on the Vigne du Clos du Palais des Papes, using it as a support during their apprenticeship. There, they can perform the many different tasks required in cultivating vine plants.
Introduction to the art of pruning, to the grape harvest, to debudding, to fastening the vines, to leaf removal, soil work … All are discoveries and experiences that are part of this emblematic venue, a cultural and historical jewel in the crown of Avignon, Capital of the Côtes du Rhône.
From the vineyard to the glass…
The vines are harvested by hand and yield barely reaches 20 hectolitres per hectare, a yield that results in optimal concentration of the grape berries.
Every year, one winemaker-member of the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône makes the wine from the grapes harvested in the Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes. In the cellar, great care is taken with the grapes, as the hand of man helps them transform into sheer nectar.
Nectar which slowly improves as it patiently ages in the winery.
No less than 2 years of maturation are required before this rare and unique cuvée can be served to privileged wine lovers.
In 2021, vinification of the first vintage from this replanted, highly symbolic vineyard, will give rise to an auction. The production from the Clos de la Vigne du Palais des Papes should come to approximately 150 bottles of appellation Côtes du Rhône wines, with a label designed by a renowned contemporary artist.
Profits arising from the sale shall be donated to charity works that are dear to the values of the Compagnons des Côtes du Rhône.
The precious limited-edition flasks holding this universal Côtes du Rhône wine, should well draw many enthusiasts and collectors.