On Sunday evening we ate at Chez Grand Ma in the village. We talked about what we would do for our last day and a half and Jackie thought she would like to see a château and do some wine tasting.
So, on Monday we set off towards Chinon, aiming in the general direction of Cravant les Coteaux and Baudry Dutour. Unfortunately, girls being girls, we had a slow get up in the morning, there was lots of gossip to get through and fresh croissants to be fetched and eaten at the leisurely pace they deserve. Consequently, we arrived chez Baudry Dutour just as they closed for lunch. Actually I have a suspicion they had scived off for the whole day.
No problem, the road through Cravant is wall-to-wall wine makers so we stopped at the first one that looked open and swooped. We came out with a half-dozen mixed bottles between us. Fairly restrained wine shopping for me, I must say.
Jackie was keen to try some sparkling wines so we went to Gratien and Meyer. This company has fabulous premises with spectacular views overlooking the Loire river. Very smart and sophisticated.
Nick and I had done the tour of the cave a few years ago, where they demonstrate the way the sparkling wine is made and stress endlessly that it is "méthod traditionelle". In other words, it is made in exactly the same way as champagne with similar results but they can't call it champagne because the vineyards are in the wrong part of France.
This time, I thought the wines were a bit more pricey than they used to be but we enjoyed our tasting and bought a few bottles. Jackie looked very happy indeed. Maybe this was because I was driving and she was doing most of the "degustation".
We then headed for the château we had chosen to see, Montreuil-Bellay. En route we called at Ackerman as we thought we might just need a few more bottles of bubbly.
(Ackerman's own advertisement for X NOIR)
They now do a sparkling rosé in a very girly bottle. Now I know you shouldn't choose wine just because the label is pretty but it just had to be done. (I only bought one, in case the label was the only thing to commend it.)
Tuesday morning came all too soon but luckily our flight wasn't until 5 pm so we had a fair chunk of the day to enjoy. We went to Loches for lunch, via Le Louroux to collect Nick's present.