A bucolic fortress
Built on a rocky headland, the medieval fortress of Suze-la-Rousse is a spectacular military construction protected by towers and walls. It was transformed in the 16th and in the 18th century into a great residence. To the austere exterior defences which strongly dominate the fortified village, are opposed the Renaissance façades of the grand courtyard, as well as the interior richness of the paintings, stuccos and decorative plasterwork of the drawing rooms.
The château, a Listed Building (Monument historique), stands within a warren, a vast wooded area where the walls of a dovecote, a chapel and a sixteenth-century real tennis court are still standing.
Purchased by the Drôme Department in 1965, the château has been the subject of an important project subtly hinged on the history of the site and the Drôme vine-growing and wine-making heritage. A new museum trail was inaugurated in 2013. The château is also home to cultural events, concerts and contemporary circus shows.
Since 1978, the site has been housing the Wine University, an internationally-known school which offers a wide choice of training courses in the vine and wine trades. More information available on www.universite-du-vin.com