Located in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the historical distillery behind the region’s most iconic spirits and cordials now offers guided tours of its production facility here in Provence.
The Blachère Distillery
Set up in Avignon in 1835 by Auguste Blachère, this venerable establishment is closely linked to the history of the department of Vaucluse. At the end of the 19th century, the recipe for “l’Origan du Comtat” was created. A liqueur made from around fifty plants and flowers picked in the Ventoux area, it was administered as medication to those suffering from the cholera epidemic which struck in 1882. Over the following decades, three large ceramic bas-reliefs were sealed onto the ramparts at the entrance to Avignon in tribute to the Blachère company, to thank them for having saved the town from the epidemic.
This same liqueur is at the origin of one of Avignon’s specialities: “papaline“, a chocolate shaped like a blue thistle and filled with this prized alcohol (and having seen its benefits, it would be a crime not to give it a try!).
The establishment moved from Avignon to Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 1993.
The distillery has since expanded its range of spirits: “vieux marc de Châteauneuf-du-Pape” or “marc de Provence”, different pastis, and, from macerating and then distilling plants, flowers and spices – a set of liqueurs (“La Magistrale”, “La Comtadine”, “La Camarguaise” etc.). Moreover, the distillery quickly became particularly well-known for its cordials, including the iconic and ultra-refreshing “Pac Citron” – found on all of Provence’s café terraces in the summer, and “Fun Blue” – blue mint, perfect for non-alcoholic cocktails.
Tours are now available at the distillery and are free for individuals, groups of 4 or more (or 2 people in the off-season), by reservation only. Although distillation is done in Grasse rather than on site, you will be particularly charmed by the ageing room, which has been using oval barrels since the company was first established in 1835, and the “herboristerie” (herbal room), where infusions and macerations take place.
Tours for groups of up to 25 people, different options available:
- Tour + tasting: €4
- Tour + tasting + 1 bottle of cordial: €7
- Tour + tasting + 1 bottle of cordial + other goodies in a tote bag: €10
Duration: 1 hour including the tasting
Chance to see demonstration of cocktails.