Amboise

 3 Days in the Loire Valley: Wine Caves and Parties

Staying in a small village near Amboise turned out to be one of the best choices along this visit to the Loire Valley. Fireplace, neighborhood parties and wine caves.

Arriving at our “château” after a day of castles and wine in Amboise, our host popped in to invite us to a neighborhood party–a birthday celebration. Perhaps it was because of the guest we picked up in town.

Where's Brad Pitt
He was quite a hit with the ladies.. and a big help, too.

Where's Brad Pitt
I guess he’s used to partying in France and I’m certain he was ready to have some fun. He really got into helping out in the kitchen, especially getting prepared for the barbecue.

Where's Brad Pitt

Party! party! 

Next day all the party-animals met at the nearby wine cave, Caves du Pigeonnier,  for a tour and degustion (tasting)

Amboise France

Amboise France

My friend Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France, who has taken many tours in France with her travel customers,  says this was the “best guided wine tour ever.”

Amboise France

Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

 

With Nancy performing as interpreter the few English speakers,  we all learned so much about wine production in the Loire, especially about the 300 year old cave that’s been owned by the same family for six generations.

Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France

Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

The ancient cave has been enlarged in recent years yet wine producing techniques from its beginning are still prominent, including the “vat” in the cave wall that was used in the process before the introduction of barrels.

Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

Bubbling juices and skins being prepared to use as “coloring”

Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

Wooden crate contraption that rotates to turn bottled wine during the production process

 

Under the wine appellation (AOC) Montlouis, the production at Guestault is predominately white wines from chinon grapes, including sparkling wines.
Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

As ancient as the caves and some of the original processing methods, the grape production at Guestault is thoroughly modern. I turned on the video recorder for this explanation, interpreted onsite by Nancy.

Next stop, Château Clos Lucé

 

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