… We park near the tower and survey the gravel, limestone, and clay soil in these hallowed vineyards. The Grenache vines are very old, thick, and twisted, just beginning to sprout new shoots for the Season. The Syrah vines are distinctly thinner in appearance. As we descend into the village, the bell tolls; it’s Sunday after all and the parishioners file into the 14th Century church. The village, along with Avignon, has a rich and historic Papal tradition. This is a charming, cute town. Our tastings in the venerable wine region begin with Domaine de Marcoux & Domain Tour St. Michel (again, see Part 5 for our visit to the actual Domaine). We taste truly outstanding wines today, including 2010 Domaine Albin Jacumin, ’09 Chateau de Ruth, ’09 D. de Galuval Cuvée Emile, and ’09 D. Gilles. They are blends of various strictly controlled varietals, many of them are 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, some with smaller amounts of other varietals.

Now we drive south to Montpelier and thus ends our Rhone valley wine tour. We experience over 150 wines from about 60 wineries. A fraction of what was available to taste in the 6 days of ‘Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône’, which takes place every 2 years for the wine trade. Next one is in 2013. So what do I think of the Rhone valley and its wines? It is an enchanting, beautiful place to visit and the wines are elegant and enticing. For
now, let’s all agree to meet up again in the Rhone valley of France! Bonne nuit.
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