Brian about to taste a glass of 2012 Coteaux du Layon
Enjoying a relaxing degustation at the ‘Festivini’ Festival Wine Market with old friend and neighbour, Hubert Deffois from Chateau de Brossay, a 45 hectare Domaine in Clere sur Layon, our old village where we lived for three happy years before arriving in Le Puy Notre Dame. It’s situated on the high Layon south of Anjou and west of the Saumurois.
This Domaine has been in the family for four generations and is currently operated by Hubert and Raymond Deffois and family, producers of exquisite Coteaux du Layons alongside L’Anjou Blanc, Rosé de Loire, Cabernet d’Anjou, Anjou Rouge, Anjou Village, Crémant de Loire et Saumur Brut Rosé and Brut Rouge.
It’s well worth a visit and you are guaranteed a very warm welcome!
The vendage has now started and the sunny mild weather we are currently enjoying is very much welcomed. Provided we have no unforeseen disasters it looks like 2014 will be an excellent vintage. The only cloud on the horizon (literally) was an horrendous thunderstorm and cloudburst together with giant hailstones which hit us last Friday. Luckily it was very isolated and does not appear to have caused any damage in the vineyards. When I say isolated, here at Le Clos des Guyons it was rain and hailstones bouncing of the roofs, gutters couldn’t cope and one of our gite guests drove his car into one of our outbuildings because it was being damaged by the hail. Meanwhile, about 300m. away Brian was sitting outside the bar with a group of friends in full, warm sunshine.
Here’s to a good vintage year for the vignerons!
Loire Valley Wine Tours
Today is the Wine Market in Place de la Republique Saumur, alongside the Loire. and what a wonderful afternoon with clear blue skies and temperatures in the thirties it was a lively afternoon! The market is a part of the “Festivini” celebrations which is a two week long celebration of the wines of Anjou and Saumur. It has many tastings throughout the region, gourmet meals with carefully chosen wine in such rarified atmospheres as the Royal Abbey at Fontenvraud and walks, bike rides, horse treks and carriage rides through several vineyards. We arrived just after 2:00pm having eaten at the Hotel le Bussy in nearby Montsoreau. This is a great place for Sunday Lunch havig superb views, not just of the Loire but also of the Château.
Part of the enchanting terrace of the Hôtel le Bussy at Monsoreau
The menu is simple and quite restricted but the food is superbly well cooked and the “frites” are to die for.
The market was just starting to fill up again after the two hour lunch break and it was an ideal oppurtunity to get round easily and meet some of our old friends like Hubert Deffois from Château de Brossay in our first village of Cléré sur Layon. A superb producer of exquisite Coteaux du Layons. As usual our current village was represented by the Domaine de la Paleine and the Domaine d’Enchentoir whilst all the big sparkling houses of Saumur like Akerman, Gratien-Meyer and Langois Chateau were well represented.
A recent photo of our guests out in the vineyard, giving their holiday an added value in terms of French Loire Valley wine culture – what a nice idea!
They went with Brian to enjoy the magnificent views around Le Puy Notre Dame and no better place for an introduction than in the local vineyards. The grapes are now well formed on the vines. It was an enlightening visit learning how the vigneron grows and manages his vines whilst looking at the stony soils that give the wines their flavours and the main grape varieties on some of the patches of vines on the slopes around Le Puy Notre Dame.
Amongst several wineries visited was our old favourite the Domaine de la Paleine, a 32 hectaire biodynamic award winning winery around the corner from our home and gites at Le Clos des Guyons After an extensive visit around their wine chais explaining the processes involved and then walking into the vast underground galleries of caves finishing in the important bottling room, Brian explained the Domaine’s many appellations and conducted a tutored wine tasting for everyone from a selection of their wines and vintages including naturally our village’s own wine appellation, Saumur Puy Notre Dame!
Our guests left with plenty of wine knowledge, wine vocabulary and a few cases for the boot of the car – a lovely talking point for the family back home and memory of a good holiday!
Santé and bon dégustation!
Loire Valley Wine Tours
Gite Holiday Accommodation in the Loire Valley
Gite and Wine Tour Facebook Page