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Wine stores in the Rhone Valley


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I visit Avignon a couple of times a year and there really aren't wine stores in the heart of town. There's a branch of Nicolas which is decidedly average (far less interesting than most UK off-licences) and that's the only one I can think of.

Locals tend to buy either at the huge out-of-town superstores (Auchan at Le Pontet outside Avignon has a huge range), from specialist wine warehouses or from the producer. We've been to a wine warehouse called Decouvertes des Vins which has a good range of Rhone wines but, again, you'd really need a car to get there as it's in Avignon suburbs. If you don't want to visit individual producers - which is fun but very timeconsuming - I suggest you get a cab to take you to Auchan at Le Pontet. I can't speak for further North, but I expect most of the Rhone valley would be the same.

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Where do the French but their wine if not from the producer? I am still searching for a decent wine shop in the Grenoble area.

Sometimes in the areas that have a lot of vignerons close by, a caviste in town will have samples of the local wines and various vintages to taste and choose from at near the price you can buy them from the vinyard. The benefit of these types of places are that you can taste and compare several different wines from the area without having to get the half day tour of the vinyard and of course there is none of the sales pressure that comes from the producers in their private tasting rooms. We did that in Bordeaux in addition to visiting several vinyards, and we bought some wines at a good price from one of the the cavistes in St Emillion, who makes his profit because he gets a price from the vinyards. Wish I had a recommendation for someone with a wide selection of the better wines in the Rhone Valley, they tend to be very local - we normally stop at the co-op in St. Cecile des Vignes right in centre-ville where they have a tasting room with a bunch of selections. It might be worth a stop. If you're really stuck to the cities you actually might be better off taking a wine guide to the supermarche. In Lyon the cavistes I frequent normally have a variety of wines from all over France and don't particularly specialize in Rhone wines. However as cavistes go there is one in vieux Lyon on Rue de Boeuf who knows his stuff. If you do pass through Lyon you might also try the Saveur Club on Quai St. Antoine, they might open a bottle or two for you. Hope that helps.

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Where do the French but their wine if not from the producer?  I am still searching for a decent wine shop in the Grenoble area.

Well, I found much to my surprise, I could get almost anything either shipped from the producer or buyable in Paris at the same price at at the origin.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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  • 2 months later...

Perhaps it's too late to add to this for you but there are a couple of wine shops in the heart of Avignon that are well worth a visit. They are both small (and I suspect independent) and have staff who can give good advice.

They're the sort of wine shops it's good to support. They may not have quite the number of labels that a large shop has but I'd rather browse a small, carefully put together selection, than wade through aisles of mass-produced wine. These small independent shops do so much for all of us because they're usually where the next small, unknown winemaker first gets an outlet and they are few and far between.

Try La Cave du Bouffart (14, rue des Fourbisseurs) and Liquid (37, rue Bonneterie) - both within a couple of minutes walk from each other.

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This isn't a very practical answer to your question, but perhaps useful to know--a couple of years ago I did a tour of le Palais des Papes in Avignon. Was I surprised to find at the end--along with the shop selling trinkets--was a shop selling an incredible selection of (drum roll...) Chateauneuf-du-Pape. I didn't buy anything but the local friends who were with me were very admiring of the offerings.


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