Life has a way of constantly reminding you that ‘You don’t know until you do something‘. Similarly, you can’t really understand a wine region until you visit it.
Take Avignon, the stunning, walled medieval city near the Châteauneuf du Pape vineyard, which has served as a cultural center for the Southern Rhône ever since popes and antipopes made it their home during the Whack-A-Mole-like papal succession crisis (ca. 1350).
There are no decorative flower pots in Avignon strewn over window ledges. There are no signs of life; no shoes, laundry or rugs set out. There is nothing at all, really, on display outside of the tightly closed windows of Avignon.
That’s because for 150 days each year, Avignon is a wind tunnel. A surreal test chamber for residents — so many fleshy vessels woefully undesigned for its brutal, drying forces.
Like me, you may have heard about the mistral, and imagined it was some gentle breeze which helped vines stay cool. Ha!
This is what we really mean when we say mistral:
You don’t have to be atop Mount Ventoux for the winds to reach up to 80 mph. When pressed, locals typically confess ‘I’ve lived here my entire life, and I’ve never (Click to Read more)