Tag Archives: Saumur

Farewell Grande Maison

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All good things come to an end, unfortunately. Micaela & Sue have given us great insight into #Loire wines and have been wonderful hosts. Tastings at nine chateau over the three days produced a vast shopping list. We could easily stay another three days! Thank you ladies!

Micaela drove us back to Saumur where we caught the 1222 local train to near Tours, and then the TGV to Paris.  We checked in around 3.45pm at the New Hotel Roblin where we have stayed on three earlier occasions.  It is in the Madeleine area and very central.

We wandered the streets for a while and eventually settled on a Bordeaux style wine bar for dinner.

Saumur & Saumur Champigny

Le Puy Notre Dame – Sunday 23 June

A visit to the Saumur & Saumur Champigny regions

DSC06859.JPGSue was our guide for today’s tour, firstly to Langlois Chateau.  Here we had an explanation in French of wine-making as it relates to the production of Cremant de Loire (sparkling Loire style made in the traditional style).  A tour of the caves followed and an extensive sampling of the full range of Langlois wines.

Our route to Langlois Chateau (and later) was difficult due to two bicycle events in Saumur today – see http://www.anjou-velo-vintage.com/?lang=en for information about the vintage event; the other was a ride to celebrate the centenary of the Tour de France.  Road blockages and diversions were everywhere.

DSC06871.JPGAnother picnic was enjoyed, this time in the vineyards of Saumur Champigny.

Domaine Fouet provided a tasting of Sauvignon Blanc from three areas incl. Sancerre, then some Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.  Cuvée Ebene (€18 with 10 years cellaring potential) took us down into the caves.

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We called in at Chateau de Breze to view its massive dry moat and a very large Pigeonniere. See more here.

DSC01006.JPGOur final visit was to Chateau de Chaintres for a tasting.  This property has a large walled vineyard producing predominantly Cabernet Franc.

Back to La Grande Maison and it was soon time to go out for dinner – tonight at a rustic French provincial restaurant.

Saumur

Sydney/London/Paris/Saumur

A good flight leaving Sydney 1540 but left Singapore late, arriving in London 45 minutes late.  The flight to Paris was also late, and the traffic through Paris to Gare Montparnasse Station was heavy.  Collecting our tickets took awhile due to confusion (which card was used and what was that number); tickets re-purchased with a credit due.

Our passengers opposite was a family – mother from Melbourne, father from London with a sister in Australia and a toddler.  The conversation kept us awake.

We arrived in Saumur at 1721 (some 34 hours after we began our journey!) and the hotel was a short taxi ride away.

After refreshing, we walked to a nearby restaurant Auberge La Reine de Sicile and had a great meal; hopefully we will return there.  As the restaurant filled, Les remarked that people must eat early – it was quite light outside but it was 7.45pm!  Back to the hotel for a well-deserved sleep.

Saumur – Thursday 20 June

Another view across the Loire to the Chateaux

After a slow start, we stored our luggage and walked outside to find a mini-market running.   Fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, smallgoods vendors lining the street.  The hotel is situated on an island, so we walked to the other side and across the Loire River.  Stopped at a café for brunch and continued our walk down and off the main street.  Importantly, next to the local tourist bureau was a wine tasting opportunity that covered the wines of the Loire Valley.  We had an introductory tasting that should prove valuable.

We returned to the hotel about three and not long after we were met by Micaela.  She and Sue run Vine Adventure Wine Tours – website; Facebook.

La Grande Maison.jpgLa Grande Maison is some 30 minutes out of Saumur and near Le Puy Notre Dame.  We arrived, were introduced to Sue and the surroundings, unpacked and then sat down to be introduced to the plans made for us over the next three days.  It all sounds great!

Our first meal, along with three other couples, was a Wine Sampling Supper.  Goats cheese pastries, salmon, cheese and dessert were accompanied by a range of local wines – Chenin Blanc & Cabernet Franc account for most of the production in the area.

The house is actually a series of very old buildings that can accommodate up to 12 that includes a gate house, a pigeonniere, garden seating and three springer spaniels.