Once upon a time
World famous, the name of Châteauneuf du Pape is first and foremost that of our village. What is less known is that for a long time it was called Castro Novo, "new fortified village", then Châteauneuf Calcernié, before being renamed Châteauneuf du Pape in 1893. Indeed, the mayor at the time , Joseph Ducos, wishes to recall the role of his village in history with a capital H for the region. Today, Châteauneuf du Pape is twinned with the village of Castel Gandolfo, the current papal summer residence.
When the papacy was established in Avignon in the 14th century, the Popes revealed the terroir of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and made the village so famous. Under the reign of John XXII, the village of Châteauneuf du Pape became the popes' summer residence. This is how the wine of Châteauneuf du Pape became the wine of the Pope, “le Vin du Pape”. A title that gave this wine an access to the greatest tables of the time and thus allowed it to go down in history.
Subsequently, proud of this prestigious past, the winegrowers of Châteauneuf du Pape succeeded to the origin of the AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée) system. The history of the village of Châteauneuf du Pape and that of the AOC Châteauneuf du Pape are closely linked. From the second part of the 19th century, these same winegrowers imposed very strict production rules on themselves, drafting specifications aimed at the optimal quality of their wines. They thus participate in the history of AOCs and in (re)establishing the reputation of French wines.
Meanwhile, at the end of the 19th century, the Château des Fines Roches emerged from the ground and quickly became a place of culture, history and Provençal traditions in Châteauneuf du Pape. It is thanks to Mr. Constantin, the “builder”, that the history of the Château des Fines Roches begins, then to his illustrious son-in-law, the Marquis Folco de Baroncelli, a descendant of a large Florentine family and himself the founder of part of the history of the neighboring Camargue region. They received there, among others, Frédéric Mistral and Daudet, renowned figures in the history of French literature and great lovers of Châteauneuf du Pape wines.
Inheriting this history, the Château des Fines Roches, a stone's throw from the village of Châteauneuf du Pape, attracts and welcomes walkers and wine enthusiasts with its neo-Gothic facade of southern influence. This architecture gives it grace and presence, drawing inspiration from both the ramparts of Avignon and its palace of the popes, and the castle enthroned at the top of the village. Its silhouette appears in numerous books, guides and websites evoking the wines of Châteauneuf du Pape, to such an extent that it has become inseparable from that which connoisseurs around the world have of the very name of Châteauneuf du Pape.