Vaucluse (84190) Population: 1,144 Altitude: 147 m
Vacqueyras is a village famous for its wine. The old village is enclosed in a circle of buildings forming a protective wall. The guard tower in front (photo) dates to the 11th and 12th centuries, and has marks of the Templiers Knights. Market day Thur.
Vacqueyras is large enough to not be overpowered by its wine and the various "caveaux" and other related businesses. The village has a clear sense of being "local", with the tourism aspect just a part of the daily, active life here.
The street around the front of the old village is lined with overhanging plane trees, giving shade and a feeling of nature.
Raimbaut de Vaqueiras, a Provençal troubadour who plied his entertainment trade between Orange and Carpentras, was born in Vacqueyras around 1165. He started his professional life as a juggler, but Guillaume des Baux, Prince of Orange, took young Raimbaut under his wing, and he trained in arms and troubadouring. Although he ended up entertaining in Italy, Raimbaut was famous as Provençal Troubadour, and sang much about Provence, Vacqueyras and the Cote du Rhone wines.
History of Vacqueyras
First record, 1137 De Vaqueiracio
Prehistoric: There are some rare neolithic remains here, but the historically classified "menhir" of Vacqueryras turned out to be a natural rock formation, and located in the commne of Gigondas.
Gallo-Roman: Among the many Roman artifacts were coins (Chambille, Pont-Neuf), funeral furniture, pottery (Fontbonne), lamp fragments (Mornas) and an altar for worshiping Mars (the god, not the planet) at Roc. A tiled burial tomb was discovered at Fontbonne, and one in a mound at Bellevue.
Market day: Thur.
Aug (End) - Fête communal
Aug - Troubadours ancient and modern
• GPS: 44.138253, 4.982104
IGN (1/25,000) #3040 ET "Carpantras, Vaison-la-Romaine"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #27 "Ventoux"
Vacqueyras sits in the midst of vineyards along the Ouvèze valley, just to the west of the woods circling the Dentelles mountains.
• Walks from the village follow the roads through the vineyards and orchards of the region.
• For hikes in the nearby Dentelles, check the village pages for Gigondas and Beaumes-de-Venise.
Vacqueyras is in the region of the Rhône Valley wines, as well as having its own outstanding appellation, Vacqueyras. (see Rhone Wines)
Vacqueyras AOC is produced only in the communes of Vacqueyras and Sarrians, and area limited to 1300 hectares (3200 acres). Vacqueyras AOC is the only left-bank Cote-du-Rhone wine produced in red, white and rosé.