We had a last minute day of work on Monday - the phone rang at 8.40am, and it was an American man who had booked a tour from Paris which had failed to materialise. He and his wife were on their way to Paris Montparnasse station, were determined to see the Loire Valley, and wondered if we were available.
It takes us about the same time to get to Saint Pierre des Corps station from Preuilly-sur-Claise as it takes an American to get from halfway across Paris to the same place, so we said yes, got showered and dressed (I had decided it was a dressing gown day) and beetled off to town.
They were lovely people (our travellers invariably are), and we ended the day at Chateau Gaudrelle (another almost invariable). There the tour of the cave and tasting was led by the man with his name on the label, the effervescent Alexandre Monmousseau. He was in particularly fine form as the harvest is finished, the wine is now fermenting, and the quality of the grapes was high.
We have shown wine fermenting before, but until Monday we have never sampled it. Alexandre reckons that tasting the foam and then sticking your finger into the fermenting juice is a great early test of the likely quality of the wine.
He is the expert, so we all tried it. Not sure I could make any personal recommendations about the 2017 vintage yet, but the boss man seems happy so far.
Alexandre, demonstrating how wine should "fly"