Thursday 15 January 2009


We usually drive through Verneuil on our way to the marché in Loches. When we are driving towards Loches we get a great view of the chateau, and when we are driving home a not so great view of the other side. We have stopped a number of times and taken not so great photos of the not so great view, and we always promise ourselves that one day we will stop and take a proper photo of the chateau. Last year I managed to remember.
A good view of the chateau
The chateau is now the Maison Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, a privately run children's home and horticultural college. According to their website, "The house welcomes, trains and places young people from difficult family and social situations, and is also a school for social and professional success." From what I can work out, the college houses up to sixty 12-14 year olds and gives them the standard secondary education, with an emphasis on horticulture. It also provides professional training in horticulture and agriculture for more mature students.

A not so good view of the chateau
Every year the Maison holds an agricultural show and plant fair, usually on the Sunday of the weekend after Susan's annual conference - so we are Preuilly, but leaving to drive back to London. Next year we hope things will be different, and that not only will be able to visit the chateau and buy some plants, but that we will have the beginnings of a proper garden in which to plant them.

Verneuil not only has a very attractive chateau - it also the home of Coopérative Laitière de la Région Lochoise, where our local butter is made.

This butter is a perfect example of how localised some of the food production and retailing in France is - we can buy this butter in any of the supermarkets around us in the Touraine, but it isn't available at the SuperU at la Roche Posay, over the border in Vienne, only five minutes away.

Last year the cooperative won three medals at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris:
Sainte Maure de Touraine (gold medal) , semi-skimmed UHT (bronze medal), and Valençay (gold medal). I am interested that the one factory not only produces goat's milk and cow milk products, but it also produces 2 different AOC cheeses.



Anonymous said...

Hi simon,
Ken and I went through Verneuil-sur-Indre last year on our way to Bridoré. The weather wasn't that good : overcast and light spitting. However, I was able to take a few shots, but not as good as your first one. However, my view of the facade is better than yours just because there was no sun to interfere. There was nobody in sight and it was very quiet. The boys and girls were probably on vacation.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Simon, I guess the the gold medals were for cheeses (Ste-Maure de Touraine and Valençay). Was the bronze medal for butter?

I'm surprised too that they could produce Valençay goat cheese so far from the town of Valençay, and in a different department.

It was June when CHM and I were at Verneuil. I guess I didn't post any of my pictures from that afternoon because they don't show up on my blog.

Simon said...

chm - for some reason I always get the sun in my eyes when I am trying to do a photo looking down the drive. One day I will take the definitive shot though :¬)

Ken - UHT milk! I missed the most important word out. I still dont understand why the French still like UHT milk though


Anonymous said...

Ken, do you remember that the Selles-sur-Cher goat cheese I buy at Monoprix comes from Anjouin which is not next door to Selles. But Anjouin is probably closer to Selles than Verneuil is to Ste Maure.

Simon said...

There is a really good map here. You will no doubt be interested to note that you are in an area covered by three AOC's. That seems greedy to me.

I am still looking for a similar map of Indre-et-Loire.

wcs said...

Actually, it looks like we're only covered by two AOCs. We're outside of Valençay. Darn.

Word verification: unchapot. Not French but looks like it could be.

Ken Broadhurst said...

CHM, yes, I remember Anjouin. We went there, I believe.

Simon, they map you link to is very interesting. But we are outside the Valençay AOC area by just a (mo)hair.

Our local ferme auberge makes the best goat cheese in the area, I think, but I'm not sure the cheeses from there are AOC anything. Just good.

Anonymous said...

Wcs, yes un chapot, deux chapots, and so on! Restez couvert!

Simon said...

silly me - I was reading that big red dot as St Aignan, when it is the litle black dot!

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