A very funny thing happened when I pulled this bottle out of the case - it was white! Not only had I never tasted a white Ventoux, I had never even heard of one! So I did a little digging. I had to, there was exactly one paragraph on white Ventoux in my entire wine book library.
The Cotes du Ventoux is one of the appellations in the southeastern Rhone Valley, a long narrow region in the center of France known for its large and lovely reds, especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Less than 4% of the wines here are white, so it's no wonder a white Ventoux is so rare. Red wine has been made in this region for over 2,000 years, going back to Roman times. Because of the soil and climate, red grapes always did better than white. As a matter of fact, there were no white grapes planted here until the 17th century, when the Pope established a residence in Avignon and it was christened Chateauneuf-du- Pape, the "New Home of the Pope."
When the church moved into the area, they realized the region's red wines were so high in alcohol that they made the priests too sleepy by the third mass. So, white grapes were planted because they had less alcohol. The nickname for white Rhone was Vin de Messe, the "Wine of the Mass."
This selection is nothing short of spectacular. White Rhone is always a treat, but this blend of Clairette and Grenache Blanc deliver myriad flavors of peach and apricot that taste so delightful, you're only willing to swallow so you can take another sip.
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