Saturday 22 September 2012

Relax and Enjoy

We thought this was such a lovely photo of Sara and PJ, who live in Nashville, that we wanted to share it on the blog. They both have high pressure responsible jobs, but really enjoyed relaxing with us in the Loire Valley.

Would you like to stay in a charming and comfortable chateau hotel and be picked up in the morning for a day or two of being chauffeured through the picturesque and historic Loire countryside? We will take you visiting chateaux both famous and little known, with a winery to round off the day in the evening. Email us if this sounds like your sort of break.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

French Potagers

The French potager style of garden is famous all over the world. In many of the big chateaux gardens it is not a humble vegetable garden at all, but an intricate piece of living design that just happens to be created out of edible plants.

The potager at La Chatonniere.
The really famous one is at Villandry, and it is a master class in horticulture and garden design. Nearby is La Chatonniere, created by Ahmed Azéroual after he left Villandry 20 years ago. Here the resources are not so great, and the gardening style somewhat more relaxed. Nevertheless, the potager at La Chatonniere is gorgeous. The planting is simpler, with fewer varieties of bedding being used, but the effect is magnificent all the same. It also makes you realise that you could achieve the look in your own home garden.

If you want to garner ideas for your own garden, email us and we will take you to the sorts of places that inspire us.

Saturday 1 September 2012

More Than Just Winetasting

When you visit a winery with us you get to meet the winemaker and other winery staff who are totally committed to making the best wine they can. They are passionate about their craft and love to have visitors who are interested in all aspects of the winemaking business.

Christophe talking about cabernet franc.
For example, if you want a quick lesson on how to tell different grape varieties apart in the field, Christophe, one of the winemakers we visit regularly is very happy to oblige. Along the winery wall he has planted examples of the grape varieties he uses. As someone who is the 6th generation of his family to be winemaking, he is an expert in ampelography, as the science of classifying grape varieties is known, but he has the knack of teaching you a few simple principles to help you name the grapevines.

If you are interested in learning more about winemaking in the Loire Valley, email us and we will arrange to visit a small family run winery as part of your tour. Don't forget, any booking made for the first two weeks of September 2012 is 5% off.