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Valréas still retains its historic title of capital of the Papal enclave.

Today it is part of the Vaucluse, but totally enclosed within the Drôme département. The vineyards owe their distinctive qualities, which so impressed Pope John XXII in the 14th century, to the position of the hillsides, which are north and west-facing, at high altitudes. The predominantly clay soils, retain their coolness and humidity, and are less vulnerable to drought than those which experience the full force of the sun. The stream of cold air descending from the Alpine foothills further cools the vines.

Valréas

History

1967
1967

Birth of AOC Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas

The area around Valréas has been settled since Gallo-Roman times, as evi- denced by fragments of sculptures and the remains of tombs found nearby. Valréas was founded in the 9th century, just as Charlemagne was ascending the throne. A winegrower named Valère planted a wine estate on the banks of the Couronne where the town now stands. In time, his sizeable estate was joined to the neighbouring priory dedicated to St Vincent, patron saint of vines, to create the first village.

Pope John XXII bought the estate from Humbert de Montauban in 1317. Legend has it that Pope John XXII, returning from Lyon after his election and feeling very weary, took a glass of Valréas wine and was restored to full health. He annexed the land that had produced this miraculous wine, so he would have permanent access; he later also took possession of Richerenches and Visan. This became the Papal Enclave, and Valréas remained the capital until the French Revolution. The vineyards were awarded Côtes du Rhône Villages Valréas status in 1967.

Geography

Territory

The vineyards lie in the commune of Valréas in the Vaucluse département.

Climate

Mediterranean climate, influenced by Alpine winds.

Soils

A particular geology

Terraced slopes of red clay with varying amounts of pebbles.

Key figures

Key figures of the appellation

98% red
2% white

Colors

34 hl/ha

Average annual yield

550 ha

Production surface area

18 590 hl

Total production

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