Saturday 29 October 2011

Snuggle up in the Back of a Classic Car

Brian and Jennifer, from Los Angeles, have only just got engaged. We met them on the first really cold and frosty day of autumn and they loved being able to snuggle up together in the back of Célestine. We drove through picturesque villages and romantic rolling farmland, visiting a stunning Renaissance chateau, a wonderful winery, a spooky troglodyte alley and lunching in a stylish restaurant in the heart of a charming medieval town.

If you have someone special you want to spend some special time with, email us and we will design a tour just for you.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Watching the Winemaker at Work

In September and October when we visit wineries in the Loire they are very busy. The harvest has just finished and the winemaking is beginning for another vintage. Because we have forged excellent relationships with several wineries in the region, our clients are allowed in to see the magical transformation of the grape juice into wine taking place, and the winemaker is available to answer any questions you may have.

In the picture below, the assistant winemaker checks sugar and alcohol levels in the new wine. In the background another member of the team comes forward with glasses of bernache (the Loire name for partly fermented grape juice) for visitors to sample. The underground cellar they are working in has been used for storing and making wine since the 17th century, and the cave has sections which date back to the 10th century. The variety of grape they are using here has been grown in this area since the 4th century.

If you visit at the right time, we can sample the wine in its early stages of development, and gain an insight into which wines will be good for each vintage. If you would like to learn more about winemaking at a traditional family run vineyard in the Loire Valley, email us.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Wildlife at the Chateau

The chateaux of the Loire all have large and attractive parks. Many of them are managed with wildlife in mind and it is often possible to get wonderful views of wild birds and animals. At Chenonceau it is not uncommon to see a Red Squirrel scooting across the lawn, rummaging in the leaf litter or peering cheekily at the visitors from a tree. They are the cutest little creatures!

We are experienced wildlife watchers and always point out the native birds, animals and flowers to clients that are interested. The chateaux gardens are home to many beautiful butterflies, the moats and rivers to glittering dragonflies and the woods full of song birds. If you would like to combine a visit to a fabulous chateau with some nature watching, email us.