At 40mn drive is the Mecca for Rhône Valley wine lovers (aside Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage): Châteauneuf-du-Pape!
The jewel of Southern Rhône Valley wine region will not disappoint you: a lively pretty village (with a castle, originally a Pope residence) fantastic wines and beautiful vineyards characterized by flat stones covering the soils.
The reds are complex, rich and silky, made with three grape types which are generally Grenache, Syrah and/or Mourvedre (other ones being Counoise, Vaccarèse, Muscardin and Terret noir).
Reds are 97% of the wines grown in the area, but 3% of excellent whites are also produced and made out of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, PicPoul and/or Picardan.
If you have deep pockets, go for Château Rayas or Henri Bonneau. Otherwise, several wineries will make you fall in love with this area: Chateau de Beaucastel, Clos des Papes, Domaine Saint-Prefert, Domaine Bois de Boursan, Domaine de la Janasse, Chateau Mont-Redon, Domaine du Banneret or Chateau de la Nerthe.
However, you will be very surprised by excellent Seguret (Domaine Jean David), Cairanne (Domaine Elodie Balme, Domaine Richaud), Gigondas (Domaine Montirius, Domaine la Bouïssière), Beaume-de-Venise (Domaine Martinelle) or Ventoux wines (Domaine du Tix, Chateau Unang, Domaine de Fondrèche, Domaine Solence) produced just around us.