Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Today we went to the Dordogne region...the land of castles. We started at Beynac, spent some time in Domme, and just drove around admiring the view. We only got lost a few times, and Nancy was a great driver of our less-than-reliable Citron! Here are a few favorites from our day:
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
This morning, we ventured out and drove up to Rocamadour. The small town is perched on the side of the cliffs and is known as a place of pilgrimage for centuries. The weather was not the best...foggy first thing, followed by drizzling rain. As we say though, when you're in France, it doesn't matter!
Monday, April 28, 2014
Monday was filled with fantastic opportunities! Two years ago, we met Jean-Luc Patard in Carcassonne, France. The house we were renting had a guest book filled with comments about a wonderful company who gave private wine tours. Jean-Luc is a guide for this company. They plan a day for you, pick you up at your house or hotel, and return you at night after a wonderful day, filled with experiences you would otherwise never get to enjoy. Today was no exception. Jean-Paul picked us up at 10:30 a.m. Our first stop was at Les Hauts De St-Georges Domaine Des Cayrasses outside the town of Cahors. We were greeted by the grandmother, followed by her grandson, Frederic Oulie. The family has been producing wine for at least five generations. They make red and rose' wines. We tasted the red, and it was excellent...the cost was 5.50 Euros and 3.30 Euros for the rose. What an incredible bargain! We spoke with Frederic at length. He is very passionate about vine growing and making.
We stopped for a leisurely lunch at Le Carre' Noir, followed by a stop at this beautiful bridge in Cahors!
Next stop, Chateau De Cayx, which is owned by the Prince Consort of Denmark. Prince Henri, who is French, is married to the Queen of Denmark. In the early 1970's, he purchased the chateau and the property. The chateau was completely restored, and the royal family visits several times each year, especially in the summer (when the Queen also visits). This year, the Prince turns 80 years old, and the entire family is coming for a celebration. Unfortunately, we were unable to look inside the chateau (you know I wanted to!), but we did have the honor of being shown around the property by Olivier Lesenecal, the Prince Consort's personal secretary.
The Prince Consort is also an artist, and his sculptures are placed around the property.
The Secretary's wife, Virginie, is in charge of the tasting room.
We also met Justine Coudert, who assisted with our tasting. Justine is a wines and spirits importer/exporter.
For this area, this winery produces a wide variety of wine, as well as a special liquor.
This is the view from the front of the chateau.
As we drove to the last stop, we passed stately Chateau Lagrezette.
The mascot for Caillac-based Lo Domeni greeted us, followed by Pierre Pradel, the vigneron. This is a newer wine property, and we tasted two types of red and one rose. Excellent!
Pierre is also a self-published Occitane poet.
Disclaimer: this blog post was written by committee: John, Nancy, Jean-Luc and me, and it is now 10:30 p.m