Post-Covid wine harvest: back to nature in a France for the French
Gina Doggett is an American journalist working for AFP (Agence France Press). She shares her time and her life between Paris and the Loire Valley, a region she fell in love with and that she presents in her blog, Lovin' the Loire. She lives in Amboise, not very far from our family winery, and became interested in the wine tours and wine activities we offer. She took part in one of our 'From vine to wine' tours on September 18th, then came back the next day to meet and interview some of the visitors participating in our annual harvest workshop - only French people on that day, due to Covid-19. A lovely and lively article, that may make you feel like coming and picking grapes with us when times get better...
A bucolic journey in Tours and its surroundings...
This is what Thomas Doustaly, a journalist for the famous French newspaper Le Monde, offers you to experiment if you come to the Loire Valley. This destination is famous for its Renaissance chateaux but it has so much more to offer!
Doustaly spent 2 days in the Touraine region at the beginning of April 2019. He came to meet Myriam and discover the wine tours and wine tastings she offers at the family winery, at the heart of the Vouvray vineyard.
TV Tours is the local television, whose goal is to inform people about what's on in Touraine, the region around the city of Tours, in the Loire Valley.
One of TV Tours's journalists came to visit in the vineyard with Myriam at the beginning of October 2018. What he was interested in was not precisely the wine tours Myriam offers at the family winery but a website created by two young men from Blois to promote and sell tours offered all over France by local and passionate guides. Some of Myriam's tours are advertised on their website. Here is the video made on that day - in French, of course, but it will allow you to see the beautiful landscapes in which Myriam' wine tours take place. Two ladies took part in the 'From wine to wine' on that day - a tour that takes you from the vineyard to the winery and rock-hewn cellar and finishes with a tasting of Loire Valley wines paired with local food.
I was back in London in December 2017, to promote Vouvray wines for the Christmas season. No wine tasting or cooking this time, though. Again the event was organised by Great British Chefs, and it consisted in answering various questions about Vouvray wines collected prior to the event on their Twitter account. The answers took the form of 30-second videos that were then posted on the social media.
Among the many questions, here are a few examples. Click on the underlined words to watch the videos.
- 'Can you recommend a good pairing with Christmas pudding and brandy butter?'
- 'Wine suggestions for New Year's Eve party with Japanese food, mainly sushi?'
- 'What's a good alternative to Prosecco or Champagne for seeing in the New Year celebrations?'
- 'What's a good wine to match with smoked salmon (either sparkling or still)?'
Several journalists and bloggers had been invited to have dinner at the Underground Cookery School. The 3-course meal served that night had been created by young chef Tom Brown, whose goal was to find the perfect pairing between the different dishes and different styles of Vouvray wines.
The starter - raw scallops, chicken and leek dressing - was prepared by the participants and served with dry Vouvray wines.
The main course - brill, brown shrimp, caper and chervil butter sauce, sprouting broccoli - matched perfectly with the two semi-dry Vouvray wines served with it.
The sweet Vouvray wine accompanied a pear tatin tart, Earl grey ice cream and lime.
In all 3 courses, the chef managed to reveal what characterises Vouvray wines - the balance between sweetness (due to residual sugar) and acidity.
Phoebe French, who writes for The Drink Business, focused on sparkling Vouvray wines, that were served as an aperitif and that are more difficult to find in Great Britain than still Vouvray wines, or than other sparkling wines such as Champagne, Prosecco or Cava. She explains why in her article.
Le Monde is one of France's most read daily newspapers - the equivalent of The Independent in the UK or The New York Times in the USA. So you can imagine how happy and proud we were when we discovered an article about our wine tours and wine activities had been published in one of their issues.
A journalist working for Le Monde actually took part in one of our wine tours and tastings in June 2017 - the one that includes a guided stroll in the vineyard followed by a wine tasting amidst the vines at sunset. In her article, she chose 5 wineries offering original and unique experiences to have over a weekend. We were part of those!
Here is a translation of the article (and for those of you who can read French, you will find the link to the original article below).
"Let's get off the beaten path and follow, not a winemaker, but the winemaker's wife. Myriam Fouasse-Robert, a former English teacher, offers unusual and exciting visits in the vineyard of Vouvray, just a few kilometers from the most beautiful chateaux of the Loire Valley. [...] The young woman also offers educational walks in her husband's vineyard for you to discover the vines and the 'terroir' of Vouvray - don't forget your walking shoes! The stroll is followed by a tour of the winery and of the rock-hewn cellar where you will learn about wine-making and the traditional method. The experience always ends up with a tasting of Vouvray or Loire wines served with local delicacies."
Susana Ribeiro is a Portuguese blogger specialising in travel and tourism. She came to spend a few days in the Loire Valley in July 2017... and experienced one of our wine tours to discover the Vouvray vineyard and the Loire wines.
Here is a summary of her visit in the vineyard and cellar and of the wine and food tasting. You may not speak Portuguese, but have a look at the pictures, they are worth it as they reflect very well the spirit of the tours offered by Myriam.
Leah Walker is a famous travel blogger and food writer from Texas who decided to settle in Paris a few years ago.
In June 2016, she was sent to the Loire Valley by Atout France - the country's tourism board in charge of promoting France as a touristic destination. For 6 days she had the opportunity to visit different wine-making regions, from Nantes to Sancerre.
Vouvray was one of them, and she came to spend an afternoon at Vignoble Alain Robert and took the 'From vine to wine' tour offered in the vineyard by Myriam.
Her trip to the Loire Valley resulted in an article (Drink Up : A Beginners's Guide to Loire Valley Wines) and a video, available on her travel blog.