If you want to discover the vineyards of southern Rhône the small town of Villeneuve-les-Avignon is a good base. It’s almost like a suburb of Avignon, just across the river, but actually an old town in it’s own right. When the Pope was residing in Avignon in the 14th century the cardinals lived in Villeneuve and many of the impressive old buildings date from that period.
A good place to taste the local wines, Tavel, Lirac, Côtes du Rhône etc, is in the wine bar cum wine shop cum restaurant Cave Saint-Marc in the centre of the town. It seems to be THE meeting point for locals. Try for example the delicious ‘petits farcis’, spicy stuffed vegetables.
The cuisine is, as one would expect, decidedly Mediterranean – aubergines, tomatoes, spices and herbs dominate.