Saturday, October 27, 2012

France Day Eight - Wine - Part One

Poor Nancy has been driving us around all week long, careening around round-abouts, looking out for one-way streets, keeping an eye on pedestrians, bikes and scooters.  We decided she needed a break.  Lucky for us, we found just the thing in the way of a recommendation written in Maison Juliette's guest book:  Vin & Company.  It was a bit of a splurge for us, but worth every penny.  Our bilingual wine expert and tour guide, Jean Luc, rang our doorbell on Friday morning, promptly at 10 a.m.
After loading us up in his van, we started the day with a drive to Saint-Hilaire.  A very small town, it is known for its formerly fortified Benedictine abbey, and as the birthplace of the first sparkling wine in 1531.  Legend has it that Dom Perignon lived there, but was kicked out of the abbey for embezzling.  He left vowing to invent his own sparkling wine, which obviously he did.  We met with abbey historian, Fabian, who gave us a detailed tour of the grounds, including the church, the abbot's apartments, and the cellars where the sparkling wine was invented.  After the tour was completed, we tasted some of the sparkling wine from Jean Luc's village in the abbey's cellar.

Our next stop was Domaine Gayda a relatively new winery in Brugairolles, which also has a wine school, and a modern French restaurant overlooking the property.  We started with a tour of the winery, followed by a tasting, lunch, and a final tasting of dessert wines.  It was incredible.


 Nancy and John enjoying the wine tasting.
We had the pleasure of having one of Gayda's interns host our tasting.  From England, she's spending a year abroad in conjunction with her university studies.  The first six months are being spent in France, with the last half in Russia.

 We met Tim Ford, one of the co-owners of Gayda.
 Up the stairs to the restaurant.
 My lunch started with a shrimp appetizer, followed by salmon.

 Dessert paired fresh chopped apples with nuts and pastry.
I'll post the second half of the day tomorrow...there's too much for one post! Thanks again for joining me!


  1. I love the stairs shot. That was exceptional.

  2. Where's part two? Are you still coming home Monday? Balch Springs awaits and yes it is still all here! Willie, Posie, and Cocosaurus