Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A Busy Weekend in the Loire Valley

Wow - what a busy weekend that was. Full of variety. Wine, good food, a little culture, dancing and laughter. First up came our visit to the private chateau of ................... So private I can't even mention the name or the owner suffice to say we were invited for apero's as a thank you for the work we had done in protecting the local countryside with the group Plaine Campagne. The 'grande dame ' of the house gave us a tour of the chateau and vast grounds through which the River Layon runs.

Our group Plaine Campagne outside the Chateau

We were all then invited into the salon for chilled sparkling rosé and canapes. Such a beautiful evening with the sun shining and clear blue skies it could not have been better.

Saturday was devoted to the Music Festival in Rablay Sur Layon. Joel Menard of Domaine des Sablonettes was supposed to be giving a commented wine tasting of his Anjou blancs but it was rather drummed out by Acousmik! Who were amazing!

No-one seemed to mind though and it set the evening off in fine party mood with everyone finally getting up and dancing.

The festival runs into Sunday and there is plenty of good fresh food, wine and beer to sample and the Village des Artistes to visit for paintings, pottery and gifts. If you are interested in coming next year it usually runs the last weekend in May. An event not to be missed.

Sunday saw the Portes Ouvertes at Domaine des Noades in Argentay a short walk across the vineyards from La Grande Maison. Jacky Ripoche, the winemaker, gave our group a tasting of his 2008 Saumur AOC Whites, Reds, Rose, Moelleux and Petillant Wines. Jacky took over the vineyard 8 years ago and year on year has made noticable improvements to the vines and the wines.

As with most Portes Ouvertes these days a little food is on offer to soak up the wines. We had the traditional fouaces from the bread oven. Delicious served with rillettes or goats cheese.

Even our dog visitor "Riot Winston" seemed pretty happy?

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