Carre du Palais Inter Rhone’s Wine Tourism Project
Maison des Vins – home to Inter Rhône – is moving uptown!
Hôtel Calvet de la Palun built in 1789, one of the last of the hôtels particulier (grand, private residences) constructed under the Pontifical proprietorship of Avignon (ended 1791). Touching the southern edge of the Palais des Papes (a UNESCO world heritage site) and situated on Place de l’Horloge this magnificent 18th-century structure is about to enter a new era.
The building was last used as a Bank of France branch and still has an imposing iron gate to prove that your money was safe inside the vault. After over seven years of neglect the site is being transformed into the Carré du Palais the future home of Inter Rhône and a flagship location for Rhone Valley wine tourism. The Bank’s vault will be transformed to a cellar filled with 6-10,000 bottles of Rhone Valley wines.
Located in the heart of the historical section of Avignon and at the corner of bustling Place de l’Horloge, the Carré du Palais will offer options for all nature of wine lovers. The team at Inter Rhône wants Rhone Valley wine to be globally appreciated, and they have a slightly audacious goal of turning Avignon into a wine destination to rival Burgundy and Bordeaux.
The plans for Carré du Palais include a wine bar, gastronomic restaurant, wine education space and more. The vision for the wine bar is a casual environment where wine is both approachable and affordable. Michelin-starred Chef Bruno D’Angelis, formerly of l’Hôtel d’Europe, will oversee the gourmet restaurant – promising delights in food and wine pairing. The educational programming in conjunction with Suze la Rousse is expected to run the gambit of levels from introductory to professional.
At the same time, Carré du Palais will need to satisfy the needs of its wine producers members from 171 communes and six departments. This project is no small juggling act, but once it comes to life in May 2016 you can bet that Avignon will be on the wine lovers’ map for oenotourism.
For now, enjoy the promotional video here with a glass of Rhone Valley wine.