Friday, December 19, 2014

Chateauneuf du Pape - New Home of The Pope

WAHHHHHH ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh WEEEEEeeeeeeeEEEEe
screamed the hobbits!!!!

Yeah my dear minion Hobbits....we are at the golden valley of Chateauneuf du Pape, then followed by more waahhh weeeeee, this time by yours truly. We were finally here!!! yeaaaah~~~

JS -_-" shoke his hand in embarrassment.
Our chauffeur was laughing hard and commented that we have a big "family" which he didn't realise until they came popping outta my bag.

the unmistakable iconic medieval ruins on top of the hill of Chateauneuf du Pape or short CDP. Chateauneuf du Pape is located just about 12 km away from Avignon, the medieval city which we were staying put for a few nites. The reason why we headed all the way down to Avignon was bcoz of CDP and little did we know there was so many things to do, see, eat and learn in Avignon itself.

The broken bridge of Avignon alone already impressed me so much and at that juncture, we have yet to step foot into the Palai des Papes - palace for the popes which looked more like a fortress instead of a glorious palace. Definitely nothing like the Vatican at all.

I could stare at this for as long as I want. Now where's our picnic basket, this would be the best moment and place to pour ourselves glasses of CDP wines.

The view from up here is simply magnificent with a view of Mount Ventoux. It was made famous all thanks to cycling...yes cycling...the gruesome scary climb up to this steep windy mountain - Tour de France.

Ventoux means windy and in fact the entire part of Southern France is exposed to the famous Mistral wind, which is also very important in wine making in this part of France. Mistral wind could go up to 320km/ph, I will speak more of Mistral in the future postings - we experienced it on our last day in Marseilles and it was so strong, I clung onto the bus stop bcoz it was the nearest and sturdiest structure available then!!!

dearie Hobbits~~~ u guys ready to go up to the tower?

Later I realised, it's not just a tower, but the remains of Pope John XXII's castle which was built in 1317. It served as a defence castle and also a vacation summer palace for the popes.

This tower was all that remained, the rest of the 14th century buildings were gone due to neglect after the departures of popes when the seat of power has been relocated back to Vatican. Actually it's not even an entire tower, just part of its walls.

JS and his camouflage jacket. He lurved everything camouflage from pencil case to shoes to clothings and bags. I know wat u gonna ask next...and to answer you, nope he doesn't have any boxer shorts in camouflage, prollie that would make a nice secret santa pressie LOL please make sure it's from Prada, my dear brand concious housemate. 

Then we headed for our wine appointments and started with Chateau La Nerthe. The majestic properties that was already there since the 12th century.

Our Chauffeur, Monkey and hostess at Chateau La Nerthe, speaking amicably about the characteristic of their wines, made for the aristocrats and the popes since hundreds of years ago.

Monkey clasped her hands in glee~~~~twirled around in circles, beaming with smiles and danced a little in here.

I want this cellar~~~ I want this I want this I want this

Dear Santa, I've been a really good notti monkey this year, would u just please grant me this?

The Gallet of Chateauneuf du Pape. It plays a very important role in creating the micro climate unique to this terroir. The gallet store heat in the day and release heat at night to assist the ripening of the grapes. It was our first time staring at such rocky soil.

our white haired genial chauffeur climbed faster than we do~~~~
GAH!!! wait for me old man!!! it must be your diet for u to be this healthy
and the answer was more wines from this region of CDP. Wuahahahahaha

this medieval town that produced one of the most outstanding wines from the Rhone valley is actually really small. As we walked, we are back at the broken tower again. Hmm this trip had been about broken bridge and broken tower...what's next?

JS answered me: "Broken bank account...."
Monkey >.< 

I wanna climb this really old wall that's pretty much exposed over the hundreds of years.

JS: "Monkey pls don't damage the wall, it may be some UNESCO site ok? Go and climb some trees."

Bohohohohohoho Monkey was crying, even genial Chauffeur was pacifying me.

"Don't cry my dear child, I'll take you for a excellent lunch down the road."
He was so kind to carry all my stuffs :D
I wanna have a permanent chauffeur now heeeeeeee

then as we descend down for lunch, a green window caught our eyes. Could it be? Nah it can't out kepoh-ness we walked to its door. The main plague confirmed our curiosity.

indeed it's the home of Chateauneud du Pape's legend.....yes he's a legend!!!!

JS ran towards the door and beamed a million dollar smile to me.
"It's him!!! it's him!!! his home!!!!!"
Monkey and hobbits -_-"
yes....there's a plaque there, we all can read don't we?

Mr. Bonneau is very old now, born in 1938, and it's extremely difficult to have an appointment by him, not to mention a visit to his cellar which was just underneath this door, criss crossing underground around this town. Lucky and privileged editors and merchants who've visited his cellar said it's like a catacomb underground stretches miles and miles. One could just get lost down there!!!

JS is so in lurve with Mr. Bonneau that everything is soooo about him.

"If we have a daughter, we should name her Celestins."
after the great wines of Mr. Bonneau.
"What??? I didn't see this coming."

it's only a If, anyway we are not planning to expand our family of hobbits and Monkey and a housemate. It's sufficient. Since we are not gonna have a daughter or a new toy to name her Celestins, we will buy more and enjoy more. 

In conclusion, finally we really do have a broken bank account for Henri Bonneau wines are one of the most top range and most expensive on Planet Earth. Even if u have all the money, to get access and have your hands on these bottles are difficult. See I told ya, money can't buy you everything.

Maybe we should have knocked on the door and asked for internship. 

Then we found Pegau down the street. Memories of our dinner together with the winemaker a few years ago in Malaysia came back. Laurence Pegau wasn't in CDP, she was travelling in Asia for some wine convention.

To read bout our dinner with Madame Laurence Pegau *click here*

It was a very educational trip down to CDP. Would love to come back again for more appointments with wine makers. There's so much more to be learnt. Hence we should really seek some kind of internship here but again I don't think I can work at the vineyard. It's all hardwork out there!!!!

JS said we better off enjoying all the hard labour from the vine to the glass. Let's work hard on wat we are good at instead. That's very true. You think so?


Loose said...

Awww... I like your chauffeur la.. He is like a sweet grandpapa! I bet you missed him alot!! :~(

CHER-RY said...

Loose come to think of it, u are right...he's really like a sweet and caring grandpa!!! Indeed he's such a gem :))))

Happy New Year!!!