Located in the Southern Rhône—across the river from the storied Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation—the Tavel region is the birthplace of some of France’s most esteemed rosé wines. Visit the appellation (and the petite, charming village of Tavel at its heart) to taste wine or simply enjoy the South of France’s unhurried way of life.
One of the oldest appellations in France, Tavel produces deep, rich, powerful rosés that are much bolder than the pale-pink numbers found in Provence. Said to be favored by kings and popes, the region’s wines—made primarily from Grenache and Cinsault, with a bit of Syrah and Mourvedre—are popular with connoisseurs all over the world.
The area also offers a variety of sights: The village of Tavel is known for its scenic fountains and sandstone buildings, and the region’s 10-mile Route du Vignoble is a popular destination for hikers. You can visit Tavel on its own or take a full-day tour of the Rhône’s top appellations, including Tavel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and Ventoux.
Things to Know Before You Go
Dozens of wineries in Tavel have tasting rooms that you can visit; if you don’t have a designated driver, exploring as part of a guided tour is the best and safest option.
Many tasting rooms do not serve food, so you may want to pack your own snacks.
Be mindful of your pace when sipping: Tavel’s rosés can be deceptively high in alcohol—up to 14 or 15%—owing to the region’s hot climate.
Tavel rosés pair well with the region’s fare, including seafood, aioli, and ratatouille.
The town of Tavel is a great jumping-off point for travelers who want to explore nearby sights like the UNESCO-listed Pont du Gard, the medieval town of Uzès, and Nîmes.
How to Get There
Tavel is located just northwest of Avignon, along the Rhône River between the Pont d’Avignon and the Pont du Gard. The best way to reach the area is by car or taxi, and it’s roughly a 20-minute drive from the city along the D6480 or the D177. Alternatively, guided tours make exploring the region even simpler.
When to Get There
The region can be bakingly hot in the summer months (and quiet for much of the month of August, when many head to the coast); visit in spring or autumn to take advantage of the scenery in slightly cooler weather. Harvest in Tavel typically takes place in late August and early September, though the exact time varies slightly year to year; if you visit then, you’ll discover the region at its busiest and most action-packed.
The Top Producers in Tavel
If you’re looking to experience the best of Tavel, there are a number of local producers whose wines are worth seeking out. Famous importer, wine merchant, and author Kermit Lynch favors the Château de Trinquevedel, now a fourth-generation, family-owned winery. You can also visit the Château d’Aqueria, which dates to 1920, and to other producers like Domaine la Rocalière and Domaine de la Mordorée, which also receive accolades for their wines.
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- St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon)
- Avignon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame des Doms)
- Little Palace Museum (Musée du Petit Palais)
- Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes)
- Rocher des Doms
- Rhône River
- Les Halles Market
- Pont du Gard
- Les Baux-de-Provence
- Montmajour Abbey (Abbaye de Montmajour)
- Church of St. Trophime (Eglise St-Trophime)