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A Provencal village and its Wine AOC

Vacqueyras > The village > Raimbaut de Vacqueyras > Montmirail > wine AOC Vacqueyras > Photos > Information

Vacqueyras, village viticole © VF

Vacqueyras is a wine-growing village in the Vaucluse, located at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail. The village is built on a hill, like an island around an ocean of vines, because the terroir produces a famous wine here. Vacqueyras is the third and last village to have obtained its own appellation since 1990 (after Gigondas the neighbouring commune and Châteauneuf-du-Pape). "Vacqueyras and its wines" is displayed in capital letters on the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail, like on Hollywood Hill, and reminds motorists that it crosses a famous wine-growing region.


Visit of the village

Tasting the "Vacqueyras AOC" wine is a first reason to visit one of the many cellars in the local area, and particularly during the "Fête des vins" on 13 and 14 July. But the village is well worth a stop because it has the elements that make up the charm of a small Provençal village: well-preserved parts of the medieval ramparts, the parish church dedicated to Saint-Barthelemy, of Romanesque origin but later altered, picturesque alleys and an old seigneurial castle, vandalized during the Revolution, then rebuilt into a bourgeois residence in the 19th century. The winding alleys of old Vacqueyras are accessed through two medieval gates: the New Gate and the Porch (formerly the only gate in the village). The Cours Stassart, a shaded avenue bordered by plane trees, is the true heart of the village. It was created in the 19th century when the ditches surrounding the old ramparts were filled.


The troubadour Raimbaut de Vacqueyras

The altier bust of Raimbaut de Vacqueyras, one of the greatest troubadours of the Middle Ages, was placed on a column near the church. His life is an adventure novel, he was born in Vacqueyras, son of a unsilvered knight, he grew up at the court of William IV of Les Baux, Prince of Orange, and his son Bertrand. He learned the art of the troubadour: singing and composition, as well as the profession of arms. After Bertrand's death, he joined the Marquis Boniface of Monferrato in Northern Italy, where he became a close friend and comrade in arms. He followed the Marquis, then one of Italy's greatest warriors, during his campaigns and during the 4th crusade he led. Boniface of Monferrato conquered Sicily, and besieged Constantinople. The two companions died together with weapons in hand in the mountains of Greece near Thessaloniki. Thus ended the life of the most famous adventurous troubadour of his time. He leaves a diverse body of work, lyrical and epic poems that will influence Petrarch and Dante.


The thermal spa of Montmirail

In the 19th century Vacqueyras was known for its thermal water, people taking the waters came to take baths of sulphurous water that gushes out at the foot of the mountains. A mineral water was renowned in the region for its purgative properties thanks to the magnesium sulphate it contained. The spa has welcomed personalities such as Sarah Bernhard and Frédéric Mistral. The thermal activity declined at the beginning of the 20th century, and mineral water production ceased in 1939. The former thermal baths of Montmirail are now separated into a luxury hotel and a wine estate.

The wine « Vacqueyras » AOC

The cultivation of vines has been documented in the territory of Vacqueyras since the 14th century. Downy mildew and phylloxera ruined wine production at the end of the 19th century and the vineyard was reborn in the 20th century. Vacqueyras was integrated into the Côtes-du-Rhône in 1930 when the appellation was created. The Vacqueyras terroir was awarded the "Côtes-du-Rhône village" distinction in 1955. A request for classification as a Vacqueyras Controlled Designation of Origin was submitted in 1984 and accepted in 1990.

The plots are located in the municipalities of Vacqueyras and Sarrians. They are spread over the sloping slopes of the Dentelles facing west, on the high terrace overlooking the Ouvèze, up to the river bed. The climate is Mediterranean, very sunny (more than 2800 hours of sunshine per year) and dry thanks to the mistral which frequently sweeps the sky.

Red wines are characterized by their generosity, power and harmony. They are composed of Grenache Noir (50% minimum), Syrah and Mourvèdre (20% minimum) and Cinsault (more specific to rosé wines - 10% maximum). White wines represent 3% of Vacqueyras production, they are composed of Clairette and Bourboulenc, Grenache blanc (20% maximum), Viognier, Roussane, Marsanne. The yield is limited to 36 hectolitres per hectare.


Photos of Vacqueyras: slideshow

Accommodation and practical information

Mas de Julie

Le Mas de Julie

Great independent house for vaation rental un a provencal farmhouse with swimming-pool and garden in Sarrians.


Selection of bed and breakfast near Vacqueyras on the portal of B&B in Provence

website of the village : ville-vacqueyras.fr

Sights and activities :

Coming to Vacqueyras

GPS coordinates : N 44.1384, E 4.9826

The town of Vacqueyras is in the north of the department of Vaucluse, at the foot of the Dentelles.

Location : altitude 125 metres above sea level , 1000 inhabitants, 3 miles from Beaumes-de-Venise, 4 miles from Gigondas, 6 miles from Séguret, 8 miles from Cairanne, 13 miles from Vaison-la-Romaine , 16 miles from Orange, 17 miles from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 22 miles from Avignon

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