Domaine Michel et Stéphane Ogier, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

I loved the eye-catching labels!

I loved the eye-catching labels!

In small wine villages, we spend a fair amount of time looking for wineries down remote roads and showing up at places that are supposed to be open but are not, even though we called ahead of time. Most of the chateaux are staffed by only one or two people (in many cases, the owners) and there is no official tasting room, so when they don’t feel like being open or if something else needs attention, visitors are out of luck.

A rarity: a winery set up to receive guests

A rarity: a winery set up to receive guests

After trying and failing at a couple of Châteauneuf-du-Pape wineries, we stopped at Ogier. This family estate is situated right in town and has one of the friendliest tasting rooms in France.

Popes keep watch

Popes keep watch

Though the estate has grown grapes for 150 years, it has been bottling its own wines only since the 1980’s. In the beginning, they followed very traditional methods; in the last two decades, they modernized, trying new organic and eco-friendly vinification techniques.

They also began aging certain wines in new oak barrels and expanded the estate. Today, the estate’s vineyards are spread throughout several small valleys, covered in galet roulés, Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s unique round pebbles.

Modern tasting room

Modern tasting room

Ogier’s main labels are Ogier Cote Rotie and Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes, both dependably good, high-rated wines.

www.ogier.fr
10 avenue Louis Pasteur, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Open Monday to Saturday 9.30-12.00 and 2-6.30

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