Loire Valley Wine Tours

Guests, Glenis and Chris with Brian, enjoying our popular ‘Wine Tour’! and finding out about the ancient wine press.

Our guests Glenis and Chris combined days sightseeing with a keen interest in the wines of the Loire Valley and hence an ‘Immersion in Wine Tour’ was chosen!

The visit was to the highly reputed organic and biodyamic winery of le Domaine de la Paleine just around the corner from Le Clos des Guyons in the village here at Le Puy Notre Dame. On arrival we headed into the vineyards where Brian explained the Domaine’s appellations including  new appellation of Saumur-Puy Notre Dame  and the annual work involved with cultivating the vines – right now the shoots are well advanced and flourishing for this time of the year, the reason being the current onset of April showers mixed with days of very warm sunshine – that’s perfect!  Then followed a tour around the state of the art ‘wine chai’ with its huge stainless steel and wooden cuves and beautiful picture window overlooking the vineyards, at the same time explaining the wine making processes involved.  Finally, we strolled deep down  into the vast underground galleries and walked through many tunnels of caves where the wine is stored, taking a deeper detour to the area where the fine sparkling wines are processed using the Gyropalette which is a piece of equipment  used in the production of sparkling wine made by the traditional method where the second fermentation takes place in the bottle. To remove the yeast sediment (‘lees’) formed in the bottle after the fermentation a ‘riddling’ is performed so at certain intervals the bottle is gently twisted, shaken slightly and moved slowly to a vertical position with the cork pointing down by means of motors and automatic controls. This used to be done manually many years ago – it’s just so difficult to imagine the labour that was involved!

We then resurfaced……..! and went into their chic tasting room for Brian’s ‘tutored’ tasting, to thus appreciate further the expertise of the wine maker, Patrick Nivealleau, who turns the vineyards grapes into a diverse range of award winning bottles of wine, which is nice to see and of which they have an awful lot so credit to him.

Glenis and Chris didn’t leave without some purchases (at winery prices) and also left this kind note in our visitors book, which made us feel happy because they clearly had a great stay:-

……..”The Wine Tour yesterday was just brilliant – Brian has so much knowledge!  We have both been to a few wine tastings, but we have never tasted so many diverse wines at one time and learnt so much about them.  It was obviously a testiment to Brian’s professionalism the way in which the patron gave you and Sheila the freedom to take clients around their winery.  Thankyou and good luck for the future wherever it takes you”!

Our guests enjoyed the visit (as they do) and tasting, being amazed at the Paleine’s range of wines. From the Saumur Rouge, “Cuvée du Moulin”; Saumur Puy Notre Dame “Moulin des Quints”, “Allegro ma non troppo”, “Tamino”; the Saumur Champigny, “Papageno”; the Samur Blancs, “La Paleine”, “Toccata”, “Traviata”, “Pamina”, “Casta Diva’ and newcomer “Aria”; the Bulles, Saumur Brut, Brut Rosé, Cremant de Loire, Cremant de Loire Rosé and Rouge Petillant; the Rosé Cabernet d’Anjou and delicate Cabernet de Saumur and then the luscious Coteaux de Saumur! And so many medal winners amongst them every year!!

We try to offer our guests an interesting holiday whilst visiting the Loire Valley.  We can help with ideas of places to visit and what to do to make your stay enjoyable. Certainly one of the highlights during your stay in Le Puy Notre Dame is to have a short guided wine tour and tasting (included in the rental for our weekly guests) or, if you prefer a more comprehensive wine tour and tasting, we can offer our popular ‘One Day Immersion in Wine Tour’ available for guests staying at Le Clos des Guyons or indeed visitors in the area. We also offer two day short break wine holidays.

So why not come and visit us this summer!  in France’s Loire Valley. website

See you soon perhaps to say Bienvenue!!!

Bonne degustations!


Sheila and Brian

If you are looking for something different and unusual this year why not have a look at our website http://www.closdesguyons.com   We have two lovely gites and you can spend some time sightseeing in the area. There are lots of magnificent chateaus nearby and pretty little villages to explore.