Vintage 2014 in the Loire
The 2014 vintage is drawing to a close here in the Loire with the last passes through the vineyards of the Layon taking place over the weekend. Some Chenin was still hanging in the Layon on Sunday but I dare say with the break in the weather today and strong rain, this marks the end of the harvest for most people.
Loire Harvest 2014 with Pithon-Paillé
Pickers picking, grapes arriving, press pressing, juice settling, Isabelle cooking, Joseph washing barrels, Jo surveying and Wendy welcoming – it was all hands on deck yesterday at Pithon-Paille. After 2 years with tiny yields (7 and 11hl/ha), there are plenty of smiles in the winery this year as volumes are up to around 25hl/ha (still low but much more encouraging) and grapes are coming in looking ripe and healthy.
Festival de la Tomate at Chateau de Bourdaisière
I didn’t even know there were 650 varieties of tomato let alone somewhere that grows them all. Well, Chateau de Bourdaisière has a festival every year to celebrate this wonderful fruit (or is it?). We paid a visit yesterday to join in the celebrations.
Easy summer recipes – pea & courgette soup
If you still have courgettes pushing in the garden then have a go at this simple soup. It’s simplicity itself and if you have yellow courgettes even better.
Chateau Soucherie – one of the nicest spots you’ll find in the Loire. Stunning views over the Layon valley.
Chateau de Gizeux
there are hundreds of lesser known properties and estates, many of which remain inhabited by the owners, who open their doors to the public. Chateau de Gizeux falls into this category.
Loire valley grape varieties
17 different grapes grown in the Loire valley. One photo of each one, all grown on the same plot taken on August 30th 2014.
Easy vegetarian and vegan recipes – spinach & chickpea pasties
I’ve been playing around with vegan recipes a bit over the past few weeks and this recipe (in a slightly different form), was given to me by English friends Nettie and David. I’ve fiddled around with it a bit and made a few changes including the addition of cumin. It makes a lovely lunch served with baby new potatoes and some slow roasted tomatoes.
Tailor-made wine days in the Loire
Whether you’re in the Loire on holiday, staying in Paris, with family and friends or business colleagues – a day in the beautiful Loire countryside is always good for the soul.
Domaine de la Cotelleraie
The vineyards of St Nicolas are more often than not seen as a lighter option than Bougueil. In fact the truth of the matter is that the vineyards of both these appellations cross over at the limits so one can find vineyards within the Bourgueil appellation close to the river on the sandy soils and likewise, one can find vineyards in the St Nicolas de Bougueil appellation higher up on the slopes where there is more clay in the soil and therefore more structure in the wines.
Courgette Recipes – Charlottes
These courgette charlottes are lovely served on their own as a veggie starter or alongside griddled chicken.
Simple summer salads
A delightful summer salad of sweet, salty, creamy, peppery ingredients. Perfect for a hot day and lovely served with a glass of chilled Chinon rosé from the Loire.