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Friday, 3 June 2011

The Loire: Wine and Chateau




Wine making and chateau are the two things that The Loire bring to mind. At the Camping Parc de Montsabert you can do both very easily. The site is within the grounds of the Montsabert Chateau, not one of the must-see ones the Rough Guide suggests, but we're not big on visiting posh houses and it is good enough for us.
We arrived at the campsite early on Friday afternoon and were in time for the wine tasting visit to the Vignoble des Forges (www.vignobledesforges.com), less than a kilometre away. Nathalie Pilery is an enthusiastic independent wine grower and seems to run this small enterprise almost single-handed, as well as look after her young family. She showed us around the buildings and described the work involved in making wine and then, of course, gave us different ones to taste; they all tasted very drinkable to us and we came away with more bottles than we really have room for in the Blue Bus.
Cycling in all the different parts of France we have visited has been wonderful and this has been no exception; empty lanes, pretty villages and wide open spaces are what we now come to expect. Many houses have a troglodyte dwellings in their grounds; these rooms carved into the local rock would have been lived in years ago and are now often used as a cool garage or garden shed.

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