Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Domaine Maison, Cheverny

Domaine Maison Père et fils is the largest winery in the Cheverny AOC. It's just outside of Sambin. Like many wineries here, they see themselves as farmers, not a tourist attraction, so the wine is produced in a large corrugated iron shed next to the house. In one corner of the shed is a small bar and that's where you go to taste the wine before purchasing. We parked Claudette in the shade of a pechier des vignes, right in front of the vines.

The young winemaker, who had drawn the short straw on a very hot day, emerged from the longère which serves as farmhouse and office to conduct our tasting session. We tasted Révelation, their white sauvignon/chardonnay blend, the rosé, which is a blend of Pineau d'Aunis, gamay and cabernet franc, and a red pinot noir / gamay / côt (malbec) blend. I really liked the white, which has an unexpected and astonishingly powerful floral tropical fruity nose (certainly a surprise, if not exactly a revelation...). The rosé is an interesting salmon pink colour, and I'm always happy to drink a Pineau d'Aunis rosé. They do a crémant de Loire as well, but we decided against tasting it.


The day we visited bottling was in full swing, so the place was fairly noisy with clattering bottles.

If you want to visit this winery I suggest making an appointment by telephone (they probably won't respond to email). They will ask you if you are a particulier (ie a private individual, as opposed to a wine professional or someone from the tourist industry) Neither of the people I spoke to spoke English. My guess is that they have someone on the team who does though -- the English on their website is fairly good. They don't charge for a private tasting for one or two couples who arrive by car.
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Travelling with Wine: Recently we met Bénédicte and Paul, a young couple who run Lazenne, a specialist business supplying wine packaging and luggage to individual travellers. Paul was born in Poland but grew up in Canada. He came to Lyon to study, met Bénédicte, who is French, and never went back. We liked them a lot, and their product, and will be referring clients to them and taking delivery of their products on behalf of clients. They've written a very handy instruction leaflet for bringing wine home from your travels internationally, pointing out that it is perfectly possible to inexpensively bring several boxes of wine for personal use through customs if you want to. Their products range from polystyrene forms to hold bottles, with or without wheeled luggage cases, to self inflating bottle bags, and they are listening to customers all the time and bringing in new lines (stick on strap handles, no-sweat icepacks, etc). We think they've spotted a real gap in the market, because curiously, this sort of product didn't seem to exist in France before.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

No Worries Mate

We belong to the Loire Valley Clandestine Cake Club. The next gathering of the faithful is tomorrow afternoon and the theme is novelty cakes.


Bewdy mate we thought! We can do that, we've got all the gear. No worries. Can't remember when we last used it, but she'll be right.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Hide and Seek

Célestine has a Facebook account, something that will come as no surprise to anyone who is a facebook friend. Sometimes we see something new on there, or someone will post something that stirs a thought.

Anyhows: Claudette's previous owner posted a photo of her at Eurocitro 2009, and that got me to thinking - did we also take a photo of Claudette before we knew her? We knew she had been there, she still sports the sticker.

After some detective work, I found her - but can you?

No prizes if you can, but you are allowed to feel 6/10s smug (and if you can't she's here).

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Lily Pond

I photographed this lily pond somewhere in the tropical part of Australia's Northern Territory in 2006. Katherine I think. I don't think the waterlilies are native species.