Wednesday, 29 October 2008

La Grande Maison Wine Tours B&B Blogspot is back Online!

Highlights from September 2008

The vines are now heavy with grapes and it is a wonderfully colourful time to come to the Loire Valley Vineyards. By mid-September the harvest has started and it will go on until early November when the late harvest “botrytis” grapes will be hand picked. The machine harvest around Le Puy Notre Dame started this year on the 19th September. Hand picking of the chenin blanc and chardonnay also started for the Cremant de la Loire.

The AOC white grapes of the area are the Chenin Blanc which makes excellent whites ranging from the sparkling methode traditionelle through dry whites to the great sweet wines of the area.

The AOC red grapes of the area are the Cabernet Franc known also as the Breton and brought to the region in the 1920’s by Antoine Cristal. The grape is deeper, darker and richer than cabernet sauvignon but also has a delightfully mouthwatering perfume. Usual characteristics are a flavour of raspberries and blackcurrant.

A good indication that the grapes are ready (along with using the refractometer) is that Willow will start to nibble them! So I guess these must be good....

A visit to Domaine aux Moines in Savennieres with Tessa Laroche who takes us out to the vineyard to test the potential alcohol in the grapes and then back to the winery to do a vertical tasting of their whites from 1992 to 2006. You can read Richard Kelly’s review of the Domaine and his vertical tasting by following this link :

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