Sunday, 7 February 2010

It's not just the wine sitting in our Loire Valley Vineyard B&B

It’s been a hectic week with Wine Salons here, there and everywhere. We’ve got tasting notes coming out of our ears from the Renaissance of Appellations, an Organic Biodynamic tasting in Angers; the Dive Bouteille, a Vin Naturel tasting held this year in the dry moat of Chateau de Breze; to the professional Salon des Vins de Loire in Angers.

We have found some stunning wines along the way which have sipped and slurped their way into our Wine Tour schedule. These liquid delights will be stocked in our cellars at La Grande Maison for you to enjoy too. But what we also wanted to share with you was our excitement at finding our wonderful re-cycled furniture for the hall.

Christophe Lorenzoni produces this most amazing furniture all from used wine barrels or tonneaux as they are known here in France. Now this is what I call re-cycling with style. These beautiful chairs are individual works of art. Made from used 228 litre Burgundy barrels they are crafted in oak. We even know which vineyard they came from and the wine that was stored in them!

The arms of this chair (provenance Domaine de Gramenon Vallée du Rhône ) are produced from the flat part of the barrels base, the clou or nails that originally held it in place are still incorporated in the design having been rubbed down so that they are smooth. The staves are stained red from the wine and the whole chair is held together using the original bilge hoop, the circular piece of metal that would have surrounded the barrel to hold it together.

The dining chairs are made from barrels used at Domaine de L’Abbaye in Provence. Each chair is made from staves (les douelles in French) of the same barrel. They are simply brushed and then coated in a acrylic matt varnish to protect the wood thus preserving the patina and the colour that they have acquired after years in the winery.

Each piece is unique. They are stunning, we love them and hope you will do too. We are obviously looking forward to collecting much more of Christophe’s work over the next few years and perhaps we’ll even convince him to use barrels from our vigneron neighbours here in the Loire!

We are also delighted to have been awarded an Ethical Stamp this year from Alastair Sawday of the Special Places to Stay guides. We have been awarded the Ethical Stamp in three categories Community, Environment and Food. You can view the entry for La Grande Maison here.