Gigondas Travel Guide

Discover Gigondas: A Quintessential Provencal Village Where Ancient History and Fine Wine Unite

Gigondas is little more than a sparsely populated hamlet. Yet, it commands great affection from both locals and visiting oenophiles as one of the southern Rhone’s most important wine-producing villages. Spectacularly located against the cliffs, Gigondas has played a vital role in the region’s viticultural history for decades and is today a quintessential Provencal wine village, complete with a healthy amount of ancient ruins and reminders of the area’s Gallo-Roman history.

Like most towns and villages in the southern Rhone Valley, Gigondas’ history is closely linked to that of the Romans, who invaded Gaul (France) at the behest of Julius Caesar in 58 BC. Gigondas’ first mention is as a Roman settlement called Jocunditas, which means great pleasure or enjoyment in Latin. Once inhabited by nomadic Celtic tribes, the Romans quickly established a foothold in Provence and planted the region’s first vines, primarily to serve the needs of their vast armies.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Gigondas eventually came under the Catholic Church’s control, which established a significant presence in France. In 1309, Pope Clement V moved to Avignon and found a Holy See in Provence. Like neighboring Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas benefited from the Church’s keen interest in vine cultivation. By the 14th century, significant amounts of land in this part of the Rhone were given over to vines. For this, history should thank Pope John XXII, who showed an active interest in promoting the region and did much to improve viticultural practices and increase the number of vines planted in Chateauneuf du Pape and the surrounding environs.

Subsequently, Gigondas was ruled as part of the Principality of Orange, a feudal state in Provence established by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I. In the 16th century, the Principality of Orange came under the control of the Dutch King William I, who inherited the title of Prince of Orange from his cousin in 1544. The Dutch Royal Family enjoyed sovereignty over the territories of Orange for several centuries, finally ceding control to the French King Louis XIV in 1682.

  • Bouillabaisse
    Bouillabaisse Stew

    Gastronomy & Wine

Nearby Wine Regions


  • Winery visits

    Gigondas’ few residents all share one passion and indeed vocation: the production of superb red wine from these superior vineyards in the southern Rhone Valley. A top choice for a winery visit would be the Caveau de Gigondas, a cooperative of smaller producers that offers free tastings. Other notable properties include Domaine Santa Duc, Chateau St-Cosme, and Domaine de Cayron. All welcome visitors.

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