A good friend, not ignorant about wine, still associated Beaumes de Venise mainly with the sweet fortified muscat which we have also enjoyed for a long time. Last month, however, our trip to the southern Rhône for Mary's 80th was all about the red wine from this part of the Dentelles de Montmirail, the wonderful rocky area which has long been famous for its red wines, notably Gigondas.
When we first visited the Domaine de Cassan around 25 years ago, its main attraction was red Gigondas. Since then, as the separate appellation Beaumes de Venise has gained traction, Cassan has stopped making Gigondas and now produced excellent red Beaumes de Venise. As se arrived (to stay in one of the few gîtes not taken up by young grape pickers) the harvest was just beginning. The pickers were gathering as we finished our breakfast.