A former seat of the papacy and inventive pioneer of appellation guidelines, the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape has new challenges to face in the 21st century. Matt Walls investigates...

In the context of the Rhône, what defines Châteauneuf-du-Pape is its scale. Everything about it is big: the sprawling terrain, the endless list of grape varieties, the array of producers and the sheer grandiosity of the wines. It is the pumping heart of the Rhône, giving context to the appellations that radiate from it.

The past 25 years have been a golden era for Châteauneuf, but as it faces changing consumer tastes and the seemingly unstoppable advance of global warming, the next 30 are looking less certain. The appellation is well equipped to address these challenges, however, and is making some difficult decisions now to safeguard its future.

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