Not much has changed in the six generations that the Biscarrat have owned this special property. Not much but the name, that is. In 2005 Laurent Biscarrat passed the Domaine onto his children, Marie and Julien. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is comprised of several lieu-dits named specifically for their unique terroir. The lieu-dit of L'Arnesque, situated just southwest hill-side on the famed Mont Redon plateau, is one of those special areas. The majority of the Biscarat's 5.5 hectares of Chateauneuf-du-Pape holdings are situated here, and so one of the first things Marie and Julien did was change the name from Domaine du Calongues to Domaine de l'Arnesque.
L'Arnesque's holdings in Chateauneuf-du-pape are comprised mostly 50= year old vines. The soil here is covered with galets and contains a good amount of clay and limestone (with stony sub-soil).
Marie's husband, Sebastian Pathier is the current winemaker at the Domaine. He studied chemistry before discovering his true passion in oenology. The cellar was built in 1964 in Jonquieres by Marie's great uncle and was recently renovated in 2008. In addition to their Chateauneuf-du-Pape holdings, the Domaine also owns vineyards in Cairanne, Camarat, Travaillan, and 20 hectares around Orange that goes into their Cotes du Rhone bottling.
The village of Chateauneuf-du-Pape has a long, storied history. The first vines were planted by the ancient Romans. Historic ancient Roman ruins are easy to spot in the Rhone Valley. In fact, one of the best preserved, ancient amphitheaters built by the Romans in all of Europe is in Orange, not far from the village itself.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the time when the Pope moved to Avignon in 1309. The move was due to issues between the King of France and the Papacy. 8 different Popes served in Avignon as the Papacy remained in Chateauneuf-du-Pape until 1378.
The first Pope to move to Avignon was Pope Clement V, who was an avid wine lover. Pope Clement V also spent time in Bordeaux at what is now called Chateau_Pape Clementin_Pessac Leognan. The Pope moving to Avignon is of course where the region takes its name, as Chateauneuf du Pape is translated to mean "The Pope's New Castle."
The actual village was called Chateauneuf Calcernier, as well as Castronovo Calcernarium by about 1200. Calcernier and Calcernarium refer to the local limestone quarries in the area. It took almost 6 centuries however, before the region was officially named Chateauneuf du Pape, which took place in 1893.
In 1936, the INAO, Institut National des Appellations d'Origine officially created the Chateauneuf-du-Pape appellation and created laws and rules that growers needed to follow. It was agreed that the appellation would be created based on terroir and perforce, to a limited extent geography for vines planted here and some areas of Orange, Courthezon, Sorgues and Bedarrides. A few other important rules were set in place for estates making wine in the AOC, such as the allowance of 15 different varietals to be planted in the appellation.
The vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape is located at the west hill-side of the Mont Redon plateau. The other vineyards are situated in Orange, Cairanne, Camaret and Travaillan.