This piece originally appeared on VinePair.com
Châteauneuf-du-Pape, located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeast France, is one of the most celebrated wine producing villages in all of France. It also has one of the wackiest wine laws in the world, one borne out of 1950s UFO hysteria.
The village and its vineyards have an interesting history that dates all the way back to 1308. Châteauneuf-du-Pape translates to The Pope’s new castle — which is exactly what Pope Clement V had in 1309 when he moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon, a city just down the road from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Popes of Avignon and their Court were actually fans of Burgundian wine, as the local stuff was pretty lousy 700 years ago.