How much does a French Vineyard Cost?

vineyard-Montoreau

A vineyard in the Loire side village of Montsoreau. How would you like to own something like this?

Imagine a beautiful warm evening, you are sitting on your terrace, sipping a glass of your own luscious wine as the sun sets behind your rolling vineyards.  This scenario has long been a dream for many lovers of French wine and culture but how much will it cost?  Let’s have a look.

We’ll leave aside the cost of tools and equipment which can vary enormously depending on a number of factors but is always a huge expenditure but we’ll concentrate here on what is clearly the biggest expense of all which is of course, the vineyard itself and the valuation of that depends on a multitude of factors including the appellation, the region and the position and orientation of the vineyards.

So, to give you an idea, here are the current average prices throughout France.  Cheapest appellation vineyards are probably priced at around €10 000 per hectare, (an hectare is 2.47 acres), in regions like Gaillac in the south west or Valençay in the Loire, whilst a hectare of vineyard in the Nantais, (Muscadet) would come even cheaper at €8 000.  At the other end of the scale are vineyards in Margaux which would come in at €1m per hectare and just next door in Paulliac you could expect to pay up to double that for the privilege of owning an hectare of vines, but then again the appellation is the home of three of the most expensive wines in the world:- the Chateaux Latour; Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild.

If you’re into Champagne be prepared to fork out €1m.  In the middle range are Châteauneuf de Pape at €350 000 with €140 000 required to make a glass of grassy, fruity Sancerre and €95 000 for a sturdy Crozes-Hermitage from the Northern Rhone.

Here in the Western Loire it’s quite complicated not least because of the multitude and complexity of appellations.  A hectare of Anjou or Anjou Village would probably set you back some €13 000 with another €3 000 required for vines in the Coteaux du Layon.  The “lieu-dit” of Quarts du Chaume would cost €18 000 as would Savenierre near Angers.  A Saumur hectare would be around €17 000 and here in the new appellation of Saumur Puy Notre Dame you would have to pay up to €36 000.  In the better known and longer established appellation of Saumur-Champigny you would be looking at €56 000 on average.

So there you go, have a look down the back of the sofa and see what you can afford!

à bientôt
Brian

Loire Valley Wine Tours
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Cremant de Loire


Must apologise for the shake on the video. I couldn’t get rid of it no matter what software I used!

Crémant de Loire is a sparkling wine from the Loire as the names suggests.  Normally appellations this size can produce wine of some questionable quality but what makes Crémant so special is the individual rules within the appellation.  For example everything has to be cut by hand and then put in the containers which you can see on the video.  Because it is a Loire appellation it allows grapes which are grown throughout the Saumurois, Anjou and the Touraine including Burgundy like cépages of the Eastern Loire, (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay over to the melon of the Nantais (Muscadet). Here, on the limestone soils of Saumur the pre-dominant white grape is Chenin (Blanc) although most Crémants are a blend.  This particular one from La Domaine de la Paleine is normally 80% Chenin and 20% Charrdonnay.  The Saumurois is France’s second largest producer of sparkling wine after Champagne and a combination of soil types, know-how, (or savoir faire, I suppose I should say) plus the severity of the appellation rules can make a wine full of flavour with fine, elegant bubbles and up there with the best.  There is also a Rosé version normally made with Cabernet Franc or Pineau d’Aunis but La Paleine does a very interesting one using Pinot Noir with a distinct taste of the fruit and “compost” that we traditionally associate with Pinot.  

Bon dégustation

Brian

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ENJOYING A DEGUSTATION AT THE ‘FESTIVINI’ WINE MARKET IN SAUMUR!

Wine tasting at Festivini

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!

Brian

Loire Valley Wine Tours

‘FESTIVINI’ WINE MARKET TODAY IN SAUMUR


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.

Restaurant on the Loire

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.

Brian

A Loire Valley Vineyard

IN THE LOIRE VINEYARDS – TALKING WINE IN LE PUY NOTRE DAME!

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!

Sheila

Loire Valley Wine Tours

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VINEYARD TOUR AND TASTING AT THE OLDEST DOMAINE IN LE PUY NOTRE DAME!

Loire Valley Wine Tours

A tasting of Loire Wines at the Domaine de  la Reniére.  L to R. Ian (guest), René (the winemaker), Lydia (guests friend) and Debbie (guest).

Wine Tours of the Loire Valley

Entrance to la Domaine de la Reniére, Le Puy Notre Dame

I took our Clos des Guyons guests to visit Domaine de la Reniére in les Caves, the oldest Domaine in Le Puy Notre Dame.

It is always interesting listening to this master vigneron, René, talking with passion and pride about his wines! René-Hughes Gay, owner and winemaker of the vignoble de la famille GAY,  which has been in the same family since 1636 when a parcel of vines was given to an ancestor by the local lord.  René tells us that all the winemakers that have preceded him have also been given the name of “René” hence the name Domaine de Reniére!!

Wine Tasting in the Loire Valley

One of René’s vineyards looking towards the Gothic Church in Le Puy Notre Dame.

Naturally lots of changes have occurred in the vineyard over the years and now the culture of the vignes is very strict with respect of the physological and biological balance of the vines. The terroir is argilo calcair and the appellations are:- AOC Saumur Blanc, Saumur Rouge, Saumur Puy Notre Dame, Coteaux de Saumur, Cabernet de Saumur and Rosé de Loire.

All his wines are of excellent quality and value, with his Saumur Blancs being particularly elegant and mindblowing.

After each visit you really can’t leave without lasting memories and a yearning for a return visit!

I thought I would share an extract from Ian and Debbie’s lovely review sourced from TripAdvisor June 13 2014)

“Le Clos de Guyons – how a gite should be and – a true french experience.”

... If you are at all interested in the local wine (this must be one of the best wine areas in France) you must go visit some of the local vignerons, of which there are plenty. But to really appreciate the visit ask Brian to take you to one of the local wine tours and meet the people who actually make it. Forget the TV stereo type of so called wine connoisseurs, Brian truly knows and appreciates wine and will take the time to explain the processes show you the vineyard and help you enjoy the results – funny how the wine is so much more enjoyable when you know what effort has gone into it. There is no obligation to make a purchase but we couldn’t resist the superb wines at the prices offered. I can also recommend the post tour visit to the local Tabac – all part of French village life. My only complaint – we were only there for four days! Would we go back – absolutely!

Thankyou very much Ian and Debbie! We enjoyed our time with you too!
A votré!!
Brian
Visit our NEW website and facebook page for more information.
Alongside our Wine Tours we offer two charmingly restored self catering holiday gites “Le Sauvignon” and “Le Chenin” complete with heated swimming pool for a refreshing swim (mid May to September) all ready for relaxation and enjoyment!
Bonne Vacances!!

GUESTS VINEYARD DISCOVERY AND TUTORED WINE TASTING !

Exploring the Vineyards of Le Puy Notre Dame

Exploring the Vineyards of Le Puy Notre Dame

Today we have sunny blue skies and heat leaning towards 40 degrees, but our Clos des Guyons guests were not deterred from going on a ‘Vineyard Discovery Wine Tour and Tasting’ in the village.  They enjoyed visiting the vineyards and magnificent vistas around the heart of Le Puy Notre Dame, one of France’s loveliest Loire wine regions (but then we are a little biased as we live here!) before visiting a highly reputed winery and tasting the wines of Saumur Puy Notre Dame.

The underground world of Le Puy Notre Dam

The underground world of Le Puy Notre Dame

Brian gave an intensive tutored wine tasting from a diverse and distinctive range of the Domaine de la Paleine’s re-known award winning medal winners and various vintages of whites, reds, rosés, sweet and sparkling. Appellations:- Anjou Blanc , Cabernet d’Anjou , Cabernet de Saumur , Coteaux de Saumur , Crémant de Loire, Saumur Brut , Saumur Champigny , Saumur Puy-Notre-Dame.

The last glass was a sparkling and refreshing ‘Crémant de Loire’ (“with notes of pears in rich syrup while maintaining the freshness of fruits – perfect with gateau aperos”) which couldn’t have been better chosen to end such a hot afternoon!

Wine tasting in Le Puy Notre Dame

In the ‘Tasting Room’ at the Domaine de la Paleine, a leading 32 hectare biodynamic winery owned by Marc et Laurence Vincent!

At the end of the wine tasting everyone concluded that they now had a bigger understanding of viticulture and appreciation of wine than before.  They had enjoyed learning so much from Brian about how the wine was made, the colours, aromas, individual taste sensations, characters and qualities.

The wines of the Domaine de la Paleine are exquisite.

Voila – it had been an interesting afternoon!

Bonne degustations a tous!

A votré Sheila

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LE CLOS DES GUYONS.  Not only do we run Loire Wine Tours from here but we also offer two charming 3-Star Accredited Gites de France self-catering holiday gites “Le Sauvignon” (sleeps 4/6) and “Le Chenin” (sleeps 2/3) situated on the edge of the village surrounded by vines. HEATED Swimming Pool. FREE WiFi. FREE use of bikes.

Le Puy Notre Dame is a pretty medieval wine village on the route Saint Jacques de Compostelle and Anjou wine route, boasting its own artisan bakery, café, pharmacie, hairdresser, post office (novel it’s in the café!), huge Gothic Collegiale and two restaurants (one restaurant recently awarded a Trip Advisor Excellence label for 2014 and the other our local traditional French Bistro where you can drop in for coffee or glass of wine), all these within walking distance of the gites! It’ a perfect place for an enjoyable holiday. Alongside our holiday gites we offer Wine Tour and Wine Tasting Holidays, including our popular ‘One Day Immersion in Wine Tour’ where you can spend a day immersing yourself in the wines and food of Le Puy Notre Dame A bientot perhaps?!