Thursday, April 29, 2010

"Le Bout Du Monde" Part 3... the wine

I awoke around nine in bit of a fog and jumped in the shower before heading downstairs for breakfast. We had spent so much time at the castle the day before we had pushed the visit to the winery off till the morning. They would open at ten and that gave us plenty of time for a tasting and visit to the caves before heading back to Paris. Fred needed to buy some wine to have around the house and for his sisters wedding. We arrived at the Marc Bredif winery just after ten. The buildings stretch from the very edge of the road quite near the river, some 200 feet to the opening of the caves carved into the limestone rock face rising over a 100 feet straight up. A site that is common and almost continuous in this part of the Loire Valley. These caves whose rock was used to build many of the castles that dot the higher ground in the valley act as their own climate control housing in this case over a million bottles of wine.
We started out tasting four sparkling wines each drier then the last. My headache hadn't completely gone away and after a couple more whites I was ready to head to the caves. As Fred and Amanda had previously taken the tour Toby and I left them to sample ( and here I should say a taste was a fairly substantial pour, maybe a third of a glass, enough to let the wines aroma fill up your nose. You could dump what you didn't want / like into the silver bucket.)
The first stop was the small modern warehouse which lead back into the caves themselves and an old wine press from centuries past that had been used to make some of the first wines produced from the vineyard. Our guide explained how each section was used to store the different wines the winery produced and how the wines were looked after as they went thru the aging process.
This room has a sampling of the best wines dating back over a hundred years.
These bottles lie in racks designed to aid in the natural production of tiny bubbles giving them their sparkling quality. Each rack has holes drilled at a slightly different angle and the bottles are rotated by hand enabling the bubbles to seep along the edges of the glass and collect themselves. The last room in the cave was filled with wine aging in oak barrels
We returned to the showroom just as Fred & Amanda where finishing their tasting and the wine we were taking back to Paris was being loaded into the car.

The only thing left was a quick lunch before we headed back to paris. We found a lovely restaurant, which I seem to have misplaced the name of, a few miles down the road. The food tasted as good as it looked, simply prepared and light after the night before with no cheese!

1 comment:

  1. wow, that wine operation looks so different from the ones i've seen here in the states. pretty awesome what a few hundred years of history will do. and beautiful photos- that meal looks delicious.