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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Drôme

Rousset-les-Vignes - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Drôme

Surrounded by a renowned vineyard, Rousset-les-Vignes is a picturesque little village in Provençale Drôme. It used to be fortified and has kept a few buildings from the medieval period clustered around a peaceful small square. Accessible via a maze of typical narrow streets, these buildings are part of a remarkable architectural heritage. First there's the 12th-century fortified church, of Romanesque origin, which has a round tower and a bell-gable with three bays. Next is the 10th-century Clunisian priory, adorned with a Renaissance façade. Lastly, the feudal castle dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries.

Take the time to stroll around the village and soak up the peaceful atmosphere that reigns in Rousset-les-Vignes. You can see other traces of its past here and there, the old washhouse and vaulted passages in particular.

If you continue your tour as far as the little belvedere located at the top of the village, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the landscape of vines and cypress trees, with Mount Ventoux in the background!

Additional information

Rousset-les-Vignes is a commune in the Drôme department, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, 10 km northwest of Nyons.

Its territory of 15 km² ranges from 280 to 1305 m above sea level, between the Rhône valley and the Valréas plain to the west, the summits of the Baronnies and the Préalpes to the east and Mont Ventoux to the south.

The locality has retained a green environment, covered with forests (54% of its surface area) and crops (36%). Lavender and fruit are produced there, and there are vineyards (producing Côtes du-Rhône appellation wines) and olive groves.

On the edge of Provence, the village developed after the year 1000 following the establishment of a priory. Backed by the Lance mountain, with fortifications dominated by a feudal castle, Rousset is the center of a prosperous lordship. Once integrated into Comtat Venaissin when the popes were established in Avignon (14th century), the stronghold was established as a marquisate in the 16th century.

From this rich past, the town has retained a typical character with its narrow streets, its buildings and dwellings of medieval origin but also its hillsides planted with vines from which we admire the Ventoux.

Rousset-les-Vignes which has nearly 300 inhabitants is waiting for you!

Things to see and do

The historic heart of the village has preserved a rich heritage. It is accessed via narrow streets dotted with old dwellings (often from the Renaissance period), covered passages, and sculpted details here and there. The old ramparts, some elements of which are still visible, have given way to rue des Dauphins (section of the RD 538).

Among the buildings to particularly observe is the old Cluniac priory founded in the 11th century. It was abandoned by the monks (who introduced the cultivation of vines) during the Revolution. The property is now private. Its Renaissance style facade (16th century) reveals Italian inspiration, and the mullioned windows give it all its character. On the "west" side, a wooden gate opens onto a courtyard. A canopy is supported by a Carrara marble column.

Two castles are also located in the small village. The so-called Marcels, named after its last lords, dominates the church: it was first a castrum then it was consolidated at the beginning of the second millennium. On the west side of the fortified village, the Alrics castle succeeded it as the seat of the lordship. Its current appearance dates from the 15th and 16th centuries (hence the Renaissance fittings and decorations) but certain elements date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, which gives the whole a heterogeneous appearance. The castle is still marked by its military vocation but its residential function is just as strong. Moreover, it resonates with the Renaissance dwellings which surround it… The two castles are private properties which can be observed from the outside.

To see next, the Saint-Mayeul church. Former chapel of the priory, its bases are Romanesque. It was gradually transformed into a parish church from the 16th century and was enlarged three times: 1509, 1589 and 1735. Over time, this meant encroaching on the area of the nearby priory. The bell tower also dates from the 18th century. On the "east" side, a round tower leans against the old rampart. A wooden statue of the Virgin, paintings and an old tombstone are preserved inside the building which, despite its various periods of construction, presents a unity of character.

What remains to be discovered outside the village, almost a kilometer to the east and at an altitude of 600 m, on the Charbonel hill, is the Notre-Dame-de-Beauvoir chapel: it was initially a hermitage occupied by nuns, then a chapel was founded in the 14th century. The building was enlarged in 1666 but looted during the Revolution, it was restored during the 19th century. Paintings, altars and statues date from this period. A bell tower and a shelter dedicated to pilgrims were added in 1876. In addition to the charming character of the chapel itself, the site is a real belvedere and you can enjoy remarkable views.

Apart from this essential walk, other hikes (on foot or by mountain bike) can be carried out on the territory of the locality which does not lack landscape assets (between vineyards, olive groves, cypresses, etc.), its summits wooded areas to the more fertile plain.

We will not forget, however, to take a tasting break to discover (in moderation) the wines produced in Rousset. If the cooperative is located in the neighboring village of Saint-Pantaléon-les-Vignes, the Bouvaude estate is located in the area (contact +33 4 75 27 90 32).

Larger loops allow you to reach other surrounding tourist sites, such as Nyons, Valréas or the green peaks of the Baronnies and the Préalpes.

For walkers or mountain bikers, maps and information from the intercommunal tourist office on +33 4 75 46 56 75.

Events and festivities

The second Sunday in May, garage sale.

The last weekend of July, votive festival with fun activities, pétanque competition, dancing evening.

The second week of December, Christmas market.

Visits, leisure and activities nearby


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