Comtat Venaissin (kəNtäˈ vənäsăNˈ) [key] or Comtat, region of SE France, Vaucluse dept., comprising the territory around Avignon. Well-irrigated, it is a truck-farming and fruit-growing area. Comtat Venaissin was given by King Philip III to Pope Gregory X in 1274. Succeeding French kings sought to regain the region, but it remained in papal hands until 1791, when a plebiscite was held and the inhabitants voted to reunite with France. The region's historic capital was Carpentras.