The oldest wine estate in the Luberon
The culture of vines in the region dates back to Roman times – Apt was a major settlement on the Via Domitia. Carvings in Apt’s archeological museum testify to the region’s deep tradition of cultivating the grape and making wine. Wine-making in the Luberon continued through medieval times until today, even surviving the phylloxera devastation in the late 19th century.
The Papal archives in Avignon first mention Château de Mille in 1238, where it served as the summer residence of the French popes, including Pope Clement V, whose portrait hangs in the château.
Built in and among a massive rock escarpment, the central tower is a jewel of the feudal era, incorporating battlements, gargoyles and defensive gates. In the 14th and 16th centuries, the château was extended and enhanced with Renaissance architectural features. In the 18th century, a classic « Aixois » bastide was added. Today, Château de Mille offers an amazing richness of architectural elements, ranging from a small Baroque chapel, Renaissance windows, Neolithic caves as well as the the oldest original « Cave » in Provence – carved into the living rock. According to the Encyclopédie du Luberon*, its suspended monolithic stone staircase is a “true masterpiece of stone-carving”.
*Ed Marc Dumas, Les Alpes de Lumière, 2013