Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Sam Harrop MW in Touraine

Caught up with Sam late morning when he was visiting and tasting at Domaine Joël Delaunay in Pouillé (Cher Valley). Sam, who is the external wine consultant to Interloire for their varietal projects, was over here on a two-day flying visit, accompanied by Elodie Besseas, InterLoire's technical expert both to check up on progress on the initial Cabernet Franc project and to advise on picking times for the 2008 vintage. Sam is excited by the potential of the 2008 Cabernet Franc fruit but stresses it has to be picked at the right time.

“I think growers should be waiting until the week beginning 13 October as the tannins are strong this year and the acidity levels are still high. The potential is there but they should wait.” However, the tendency in Bourgueil and Chinon looks to be to start picking around 6 October.

Sam was also over here for the newer projects on Sauvignon Blanc and Côt. Sam’s initial advice on the Côt is for producers to cut down on maceration times because the tannins are rougher and more rustic than Cabernet Franc. He was also thinking that quite often Côt is picked before it is properly ripe giving the wines green notes that they would not have if growers waited until the fruit was ripe.

During the tasting with Joël and Thierry Delaunay, Sam was particularly impressed with their fragrant and minerally 2007 Touraine Sauvignon Blanc. He had also been very impressed with the dynamism of Florence Veilex at La Chapinière de Châteauvieux, whom he had visited early that morning.

La Chapinière de Châteauvieux, 4 Chemin de la Chapinère
41110 Châteauvieux

Domaine Joël Delaunay, 48 Rue de la Tesnière, 41110 Pouillé

More pictures of the 2008 harvest in the Cher Valley

(29 September 2008)

@Clos Roche Blanche

Côt@Clos Roche Blanche

Côt@Joël Delaunay
A clone that produces large bunches

Côt has a magnificent autumn colour@Joël Delaunay

Gamay@Domaine des Maisons Brulée

Barriques ready and waiting@Clos Roche Blanche


Monday, 29 September 2008

Glorious harvest weather in Cher Valley

Domaine des Maisons Brulées, Pouillé: horse used to carry cases of grapes

The weather over the past two days has been sensational. Cool overnight, sun and blue skies during the day with just the odd fluffy cloud from time to time. Caught up this morning with the vintage at several domaines.

Happy pickers: Laurent from Brooklyn and Catherine Roussel
(photo: CRM)

Clos Roche Blanche
Busy picking Gamay at La Tesnière by hand with a group of experienced pickers, who include some over 70 years old as well as Laurent, a former restaurateur from Brooklyn, New York. “The Gamay is coming in a 12˚ potential,” said Didier Barouillet, co-owner and winemaker. “Overall the level of acidity is a degree higher than last year. The Cabernet is at 13.2% potential alcohol but the acidity is still too high at 7.5. There is a lot of tartaric acid this year because temperatures during the growing period have been lower than the average for the last 30 years. The Côt is at 12.3% with a similar level of acidity. We’ll pick those next week – possibly the Cabernet before the Côt, which is most unusual – normally we always pick the Côt first."

Clos Roche Blanche: Gamay
Clos Roche Blanche: La Pause vers 11 heures

Clos Roche Blanche: La Pause vers 11 heures
(photo: CRM)
Clos Roche Blanche: La Pause vers 11 heures
(photo: CRM)

Domaine Joël Delaunay: Thierry Delaunay
The Delaunays are also in La Tesnière, a small hamlet of vignerons in the eastern part of the commune of Pouillé. Thierry has now taken over from his father, Joël, who bottled the domaine’s first wines in 1971. Thierry is the fifth generation of the family to look after the vines here. Despite recovering from a painful hernia, Thierry was cheerful about the harvest. “We started on Monday 15th. The Sauvignon Blanc is finished. It has been coming in at around 13% potential. The yields are down from normal at between 40-45 hl/ha. Overall in the region yields are down by 20 hl/ha. We are starting the Gamay this afternoon and I expect that we’ll start picking the Côt later this week. When I checked last Saturday The Côt was 12.1% and 5.6 in acidity but I hope the potential will have reached 13% by the time we pick.”

Cleaning cageots

Thierry will be taking part in the new Interloire Côt project, which involves Sam Harrop MW, who acts as the external consultant. This new project is an extension of the initial Cabernet Franc project, which was designed to make Loire Cabernets more appealing to the UK palate. There is another project getting underway on Loire Sauvignon (both AC and vdp from the Loire -Atlantique to Loir-et-Cher). Sam is also involved in this.

Thierry Delaunay tasting his Touraine Sauvignon 2008
just before the start of its fermentation

Before leaving there was time to taste juice from a couple of vats of Touraine Sauvignon 2008 – one that had had 12 hours of skin contact and the other that had been pressed immediately. The skin contact had more body, while the other was more aromatic. Later they will be blended together.

Michel and Beatrice Augé: Domaine les Maison Brulées
When we arrive Michel is busy in the chai unloading a stack of cageots (picking crates) full of plump, clean Gamay grapes. “We started picking on Thursday 18th. Much of the Sauvignon is now picked. It varies between 14% to over 15% potential with 7 grams acidity.” We tasted the Sauvignon juice, which was deliciously rich with very good balance of fruit and acidity.

Domaine des Maison Brulées: Gamay

The estate is run biodynamically. Michel and Beatrice use a horse in the vineyard to transport the crates of grapes. Michel expects to pick the Cabernet and Côt next week.

“What news?” Michel asks me. I tell him about the tiny harvest in Muscadet. “20 hl/ha! That’s what I make every year,” he smiles.

Vincent Ricard: Domaine Ricard
When I arrived Vincent was busy filling up a cubitainer of Sauvignon Blanc Bernache (local Loire name for partially fermenting grape juice) for a couple of guys from a bar. Bernache is a popular drink at harvest time and is often served with roasted chestnuts. Bernache has to be kept cool otherwise it will continue its fermentation and either blow out the cork or the bottle or container will explode.

Like the other vignerons Vincent is very happy with the way 2008 is turning out. “We started on Thursday 19 September and have picked the Sauvignon for Le Petiot, Les Trois Chênes and some of '?' (point d’interrogation). Le Petiot came in between 12.2%-12.6%, while the richest so far for '?' has been 13.8%. The yield for the Sauvignon has been 45 hl/ha so far. We’ll be picking Gamay this afternoon and Côt at the end of the week.”

Vincent is one of the bright young stars of eastern Touraine. After a number of stages including a year (1996-97) with Philippe Alliet, he started at the family estate on 1 March 1998. The domaine at Thesée has 17 hectares with nearly 13 of Sauvignon Blanc and a small amount of Cabernet Franc, Côt and Gamay. “Two thirds is white and one third red,” explains Vincent. “The soils on the north side of the Cher with their thin limestone soils are very suitable for whites. Whereas on the south side of the Cher there’s a higher proportion of clay, so reds do well there.” 60% of the whites are picked by hand, while for the reds this increases to 70%.

Happily Vincent’s wines are now available again in the UK. Previously the excellent Le Petiot was imported by Berry Bros & Rudd, who foolishly in my opinion dropped him. It can now be enjoyed at St John Restaurant in London.

Vincent Ricard

Clos Roche Blanche, 19 Route de Montrichard, 41110 Mareuil-sur-Cher.

Domaine Joël Delaunay, 48 Rue de la Tesnière, 41110 Pouillé

Domaine des Maisons Brulées, 5 Impasse de la Vallée du Loing
41110 Pouillé

Domaine Ricard, 50 Rue Nationale, Thesée la Romaine

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Food matches (2) Gamay 2007 with veal kidneys

(26 September 2008)
After our quick visit to the Clos Roche Blanche, and with their 2007 Gamay being recommended by the NY Times, it seemed only sensible to drink a bottle of the Gamay this evening. We stopped off at Philippe Goulet’s excellent butcher’s shop in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher to buy a veal kidney, which I served with a cream and mushroom sauce which, rather surprisingly, went extremely well with the soft and silky Gamay. The 2007 is lighter than some of the Clos Roche Blanche’s other vintages of Gamay but is a real success for this difficult year.

Clos Roche Blanche, 19 Route de Montrichard, 41110 Mareuil-sur-Cher.

Boucherie Philippe Goulet
6 Rue Marcel Bisault, 41400 Saint-Georges-sur-Cher

Food matches (1): Dioterie 1988 and pizza

Pizzaman Fabrice in action at Saint-Georges-sur-Cher

(14 August 2008)
After our day in Chinon, Bourgueil and Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil we decide to have a bottle of Charles Joguet’s 1988 Clos de la Dioterie (Chinon) as well as the 2003 La Croix Boissée that Bernard Baudry kindly gave us at the end of our visit. We had already arranged that it was going to be pizzas this evening. Every Thursday Fabrice (tel: and his mobile pizza oven are in front of the church in Saint–Georges-sur-Cher. Fabrice is in a different place each night of the week: Monday (Montrichard), Tuesday (Meusnes), Wednesday (Saint-Romain) and Friday (Contres). His pizzas are certainly recommended, although perhaps not the ideal match for the Dioterie.

The 1988 Dioterie is in fine shape: still bright coloured not looking its nearly 20 years with lovely delicate brambly fruit and long flavoured. It is showing all the finesse and delicacy that made Charles Joguet’s reputation. Equally it is a reminder of how good the 1988 Loire vintage can be both in reds and sweet whites. It has had the misfortune to be eclipsed by the two vintages that followed: the superb 1989 and, nearly as fine, 1990.

Clos de la Dioterie 1988, Chinon, Charles Joguet

Following Charles Joguet’s retirement in 1997 I have found the domaine patchy. In particular I remember tasting the range at one of Decanter's Fine Wine Encounters in the Landmark Hotel, London. Although I can’t at the moment remember the year I do remember finding the wines very disappointing. With a new team in place it is definitely time to reassess the recent releases.

The 1988 Dioterie proved to be a hard act to follow for the 2003 Croix Boissée, which has all the power and richness of the very hot 2003 vintage but is at the moment decidedly clumsy in comparison to the Dioterie.

Still to come from August visits with The Wine Detective our day in Montlouis: François Chidaine, Stéphane Cossais, Les Loges de la Folie and Jacky Blot.

Charles Joguet, La Dioterie, 37220 Sazilly

Fabrice Pizza: tel:

Saturday, 27 September 2008

More news of the 2008 harvest

Picking near Château des Couldraies, Saint-Georges-sur-Cher

Frédéric Mabileau, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil and Saumur Blanc
Fréderic and Thomas are both very optimistic. “For the Chenin at le Puy Notre Dame we’ll do the first picking on 6 and 7 October and then the second through the vines 10 to 14 days later. We’ll start picking the Cabernet Franc on Wednesday 8 October.” The ban de vendanges for Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil is set for the 4 October

Jean-Marie Bourgeois, Henri Bourgeois, Sancerre
“The weather is great at the moment. We will be starting in earnest on Wednesday/Thursday of next week.”

Look out for further updates soon.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Clos de l’Hospice, Chinon

La Nouvelle République, the regional paper for Touraine, today reports that 1.30 hectares of Cabernet Franc is due to planted today at the Clos de l’Hospice close to Chinon’s château. This is part of the restoration of the hospice. The vines will be looked after by 33-year-old Rodolphe Raffault, son of Jean-Maurice Raffault of Savigny-en-Véron. A number of old documents indicate that there were vines in this clos, which faces south, in 1626. The new vines are a selection massale. The first vintage should be in 2010 with the first bottles released in 2012.

The NR also reported that five Touraine appellations have this year decided to dispense with the traditional ban des vendanges – the official signal that harvesting can begin. The five are: Bourgueil, Chinon, Touraine, Touraine–Azay-le-Rideau and Touraine–Amboise.

Les Vendanges aux Clos Roche Blanche

View over the Cher Valley from the Clos Roche Blanche

We dropped in on the Clos Roche Blanche (AC Touraine) hoping to catch them picking the last of the Chardonnay but the well-drilled team finished earlier than anticipated. Happily this meant that Catherine Roussel had time to chat about the vintage.

“At the beginning of September I was really depressed and feared the vintage would be a catastrophe. Then I thought we are not at harvest-time yet the weather can improve – and it has! This morning we picked part of the Gamay – the grapes are really good with about 12.2 potential alcohol. When Didier checked them over he only found five bunches that were rotten! It’s difficult to say at the moment but the yield is probably around 40 hl/ha. This year the grapes don’t have very much juice – the north wind that has been blowing for the last fortnight or so has dried the grapes.” Also, although the summer was cool, it was fairly dry.

“We have finished the Sauvignon. It’s a tiny crop this year – we have probably only made 15-20 hl/ha! The problem is that they are high in potential alcohol – 14%. Didier has done a macération carbonique to try and reduce the level of alcohol a bit.”

On top of the harvest Catherine has to field calls
about the now famous Gamay 2007!

We talked about the article in the NY Times by Eric Asimov this week that praises the Clos Roche Blanche Gamay – Eric is obviously a man who knows what he is talking about!

‘One area with a small amount of gamay is the Loire Valley, which may be France’s greatest region for wine bargains. For the past few years my Thanksgiving red for the big crowd at our family celebrations has been the Touraine gamay from Clos Roche Blanche. The 2007 gamay, which I found for $15.99 (it was around $10 three or four years ago) is exhilarating to drink, with its earthy, minerally flavors and great gamay fruit.’
Eric Asimov ‘Modest Luxuries for Lean Times’ The NY Times
23rd September 2008

Detail of the house of the Clos Roche Blanche – vines and bunches of grapes

Monday morning they will be picking the Gamay at La Tesnière. I hope to get some pictures then. I fancy Eric Asimov can look forward to drinking and enjoying the 2008 Touraine Gamay with quiet confidence.

Despite being the toast of the NY Times, Catherine
still cleans the pickers' buckets

Clos Roche Blanche, 19 Route de Montrichard, 41110 Mareuil-sur-Cher.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Domaine de Bablut: 2008 grapes

Christophe Daviau

After a fairly miserable day for much of yesterday in the Pays Nantais, it cleared up a bit when we moved eastwards to Anjou in the late afternoon.

Today started misty over the Coteaux de l’Aubance. Initially it promised to be fine once the mist lifted but blue skies soon gave way to clouds. I spent the morning with Christophe Daviau (Domaine de Bablut) looking at the vineyards that are now run biodynamically.

Cabernet Franc destined for Petra Alba (calcaire soil)

Cabernet Franc destined for Petra Alba
– note grapillons on ground
bottom left

Now around 10˚ potential alcohol and 8˚ acidity the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignons are at least a good ten days to a fortnight before they are ready to pick. There are signs of the start of some botrytis developing on the Chenin but it will be a while before they start picking.

Currently the team of vineyard workers going through the Cabernets are stripping off the grapillons (also called verjus) and dropping them on the ground. Grapillons are second generation bunches that ripen later, if they ever do, than the main first generation bunches. At the moment they are green, so easy to spot. Once they change colour they will be much more difficult to identify. If the grapillons are not eliminated, then they will give the wine green, unripe flavours.

A grapillon – unripe second generation grapes
that will make your wine taste green and sharp

In 1989, which had an amazingly fine summer and autumn, Didier Richou of Domaine Richou in Moze-sur-Louet made a small cuvée of Gamay from the grapillons harvested in late November or early December, which I believe had 13% alc.

Grolleau Noir

As rain was forecast Christophe didn’t pick yesterday instead getting the highly reputed mobile bottlers Brault to come. Amongst the cuvées bottled were the Coteaux de l’Aubance Grandpierre 2005 and 2006. Picking started again today with the Sauvignon Blanc (VDP de la Loire) being machine picked.

Sauvignon Blanc: VDP de la Loire

Machine picking Sauvignon Blanc

Pierre Luneau and Guy Bossard

"Surely I must have some more 2008!" Pierre Luneau.

(24 September 2008)
To be posted: tasting with Pierre Luneau including a vertical of Excelsior, his Muscadet troisième niveau, from 2008 through to 2002. Also a brief visit to Guy Bossard as well as a view of Castel's new factory.........

Sign at Guy Bossard's office and tasting room.

A recent edition of La Revue du Vins de France has an article on Guy Bossard of Domaine de l’Ecu and Joseph Landron of Domaines Landron in La Haye Fouassière. The article’s theme or conceit is that it was Guy Bossard alone who made quality Muscadet during the late 1970s and 1980s. It was Guy, who bravely swam against the tidal wave of mediocre Muscadet. Now Joseph Landron is a worthy disciple/successor to Guy.

Without taking anything away from the work and wines of Guy and Joseph, this strikes me as a gross simplification. My first visit to the Pays Nantais was at the end of 1989. It was clear that there were producers other than Guy, who unfortunately wasn’t in my programme of visits, who were passionate and dedicated to making top quality Muscadet.

Louis Métaireau most comes to mind. I still remember after nearly 20 years the gleam in Louis’ eye and the relish in his voice as he described the tasting hurdles the Muscadets made by his vignerons d’art had to surmount to prove they were good enough to be part of the Métaireau range. And spending an evening with Jean-Ernest Sauvion, who was determined that this novice wine journalist properly understood sur lie, its importance and why it was a nonsense at that time to allow people to transport Muscadet sur lie in bulk and bottle it away from where it had been made. Fortunately the rules were subsequently tightened up and now sur lie has to be bottled sur place. Taste Pierre Luneau’s 1979, his 1982 or other vintages from the period – obviously quality Muscadets. There may have been more poor Muscadet then but there were also quality producers – fortunately Guy was not alone.

Coming shortly.....

Château d’Yseron, Vallet

(23 September 2008)
We stayed overnight at the Château d’Yseron, which is about three kilometres north east of Vallet. Owned and run by Olivier de Saint-Albin this is a very comfortable place to stay. We had a large room with a bed that would have easily accommodated three people with a good firm mattress and luxurious sheets. The property used to belong to the Benedictine order. The monks left in 1750 and in 1830 the property was bought by Olivier's grandfather, who built the current château. Olivier, who used to sell TGVs and other forms of transport in the US and Canada, is now retired. He has impeccable English but is happy to speak French.

The estate has 10 hectares of vines – making Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine and a bottle-fermented sparkling wine from a blend of Melon de Bourgogne and Chardonnay.
Rooms: 5 from €80-€120 including breakfast. WiFi. Credit cards accepted.

Olivier de Saint-Albin, Château d'Yseron, 44330 Vallet

Auberge Chez Pipette
That evening we enjoyed a simple meal at the Auberge Chez Pipette, which specialises in various grills over sarments des vignes (vine cuttings). We shared a plate of grilled calamari rings followed by an entrecôte and a fillet steak – both good and fine partners for the 2005 Anjou Villages from Château de Passavant. Although we could have ordered some garish ice-cream sundaes, we each opted for a couple of scoops of ice-cream. Chez Pipette is well outside La Haye-Fouassière. It’s just off the D149 to Clisson and close to the junction with the N249.

Auberge Chez Pipette, 13 Impasse Tournebride, 44690 La Haye - Fouassière
Tel: 02 40 54 80 47

Pierre Sauvion: Château du Cléray

(24 September 2008)
Last November La Maison Sauvion, which includes Château du Cléray near Vallet, was sold to Grands Chais de France. This is part of the recent strategy of Grand Chais de France to build a range of luxury wine brands. As part of this strategy they bought Château de Fesles in Anjou earlier on this year. Pierre Sauvion, the nephew of Jean-Ernest Sauvion who previously ran the company, remains in charge of the company’s affairs.

Pierre Sauvion in the cellars of Château du Cléray

“We made a small test on Monday 15 September and then started properly on Thursday (18 September) and we’ll finish either today or tomorrow. With the frost of 7 April we lost 60% of the crop. Before we started harvesting we thought that yields would be around 24/25 hl/ha but the actual average yield is 20 hl/ha. However, this is not as bad as 1991 when it was just 10 hl/ha. However, even without the frost, I don’t think we would have had a big harvest this year because of the difficult flowering last year. We’d probably have had around 40 hl/ha.”

The Loire as well as other parts of Western France including Bordeaux was very badly hit by frost on 21/22 April 1991. Just as happened on 7 April this year much of the damage in 1991 was apparently caused by the heat of the early morning sun being magnified by the ice droplets encasing the tender young vine shoots.

“I’m quite optimistic about the quality of 2008, which I think may be similar to 2000 and 2001, perhaps especially 2001 which was a good vintage that has kept well. There are no wrong tastes in the 2008 musts, although the acidity is quite high and I may do a malo on some vats to soften the acidity. I was pessimistic about 2008 at the beginning of August but, leaving aside today, we have now had two and half weeks of good weather with the wind from the east.”

Pierre Sauvion@Château du Cléray with a glass of 2008 Muscadet juice

Pierre hopes that that the short 2008 harvest will lead to a repositioning of Muscadet. “The price will have to go up. We cannot cover our costs of production on this year’s yields. I hope that bad Muscadet sold at too low a piece will disappear and that the Muscadet will be sold at a price that reflects its true value. Muscadet should be the top wine from the area and any wine that isn’t good enough should be sold under a second label and not be called Muscadet.” Pierre explains that to cover costs this year the price would have to double. “Of course this isn’t possible but the price of Muscadet needs to rise to a level that will allow youngsters to start and for producers to gain a proper margin.”

Château du Cléray - Sauvion en Eolie
BP 79453, 44194 Vallet Cedex
Tel :
GPS : 47°09'590"N 01°14'686"W
Email :

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Very small Muscadet 2008 harvest

Melon de Bourgogne 2008

Due to the severe frost in early April the volume of the 2008 vintage is well below normal. Overall the estimate is that the frost destroyed 50% of the crop. However, this varies from sector to sector. “We lost between 20%-70% of the crop depending on the parcel,” said Monique Luneau of Domaine Luneau-Papin, Le Landreau in the Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine. “Overall we will make 40% of normal,” added Pierre. Pierre says that Joseph Landron has only made 12 hl/ha. Across in the Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu Jérome Choblet of Domaine des Herbauges says: “Before we started picking we had hoped for 25 hl/ha but now we have started we will be lucky to get 20 hl/ha. With around 130 ha – 105 of Melon – Herbauges is the largest producer in the Grandlieu appellation.

One of Pierre Luneau's pickers with grapes destined for Cuvée Excelsior

Fortunately the weather is good here: sunny but not very hot – the maximum temperature yesterday was just over 20˚C and the nights are decidedly fresh. Here and elsewhere in the Loire it seems a lot drier than during August – the grass is less green and the ground in the vineyards is dry and dusty.

“We started picking yesterday,” says Jérôme. “We checked the grapes on Monday a week ago (15 September) but they weren’t properly ripe ¬ only 9˚ alc but 8.2 acidity. Now we have 10.5˚-11˚ depending upon the parcel and 5.7 acidity. Waiting a week was very stressful as most of the producers around here were picking. 80% of all Muscadet has now been picked.” Assuming that their neighbours’ grapes were similarly barely ripe, it will be a good year for the bettravistes – sugar beet farmers of northern France. However, the high levels of acidity will be a problem.

Jérome Choblet with 2008 Muscadet juice

At Luneau-Papin they are finishing the hand picking – yesterday was the last day – and the rest of the grapes will be picked by machine. Pierre Luneau was very relaxed yesterday – his main concern appears to be trying to get his new mobile phone to work properly.

"Hello! Hello!" Pierre Luneau struggling with his mobile

Someone has to work: Pierre-Marie Luneau checks the harvest

Pierre Luneau admiring grapes destined for Excelsior

Monique Luneau: la vendangeuse en chef

One of the givens of the harvest is that machines will break down – usually at the most inconvenient time. While we talked to Jérôme, his father Luc was busy repairing the picking machine, so that it would be ready to go next morning.

Luc Choblet: "I think it goes this way..............."

"That's better – cracked it!"

(25 September 2008)
Unfortunately the sky is grey this morning and it’s raining – a complete contrast to yesterday.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Off to the Pays Nantais

22.9.08: A28 just north of Tours

Drove down from London to Touraine yesterday. Lovely day for driving, particularly as we got closer to the Loire. Going through the Channel tunnel wasn’t a problem, although the shuttle runs only every two hours. However, poor communication from Eurotunnel. We received a email about a week ago advising that our booking time had changed and that we would be notified shortly of the new time. Since then nothing – no response to emails and impossible to get through on the phone. Fortunately we checked our booking on-line and saw that our departure time had been brought forward by an hour.

Off to the Pays Nantais today. Forecast remains generally good for this week – sunny apart from the possibility of light rain on Thursday.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Ripening reds + a white: AC Touraine

A few pics of ripening grapes in the Cher Valley, AC Touraine. Weather currently good – sunny days with quite a cool wind from North/North East and fresh nights. Harvesting of whites underway.

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc

Sauvignon Blanc