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The prettiest of all the Mont Ventoux Côtes-du-Rhône wine villages, Gigondas is little more than a cluster of stone houses stacked gracefully up a hillside overlooking the broad sweep of the valley below. At the top, a false-front Baroque church anchors a ring of medieval ramparts; from here you can take in views as far as the Cévennes.
Its few residents share one vocation: the production
of the vigorous Grenache-based red that bears the village name. At the more than 60 caveaux (tasting caves) scattered through the village and the surrounding countryside, you’re welcome to visit, taste, and buy without ceremony. Pick up a contact list from the tourist office at the village entrance beside the town hall.
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Of all the monuments in France—cathedrals, châteaux, fortresses—the ancient city of Avignon (pronounced ah-veen- yonh ) is one of the most dramatic...