Alors, nous avons visité la Loire! For wine and lunch and looking at vineyards! In my case it was more for taking photos, but the former were nice bonuses!
Firstly we had a wee breakfast (read: coffee and croissant!) before heading out to the vineyards to learn about how the grapes are grown and harvested. We also found out that a nasty American disease (typical, eh?! 😉 ) got over here and killed off the French vines, so now they graft the French vines onto American root stems, making them immune to the disease. Voila; tasty French wine, no evil American disease! The photo below is the field of freshly grafted vines, in 3 years they’ll be all graped up!
We also got to head to a fully grown field and taste some of the grapes that were left post-harvest. Surprisingly, they make good eating too; very sweet despite the seeds. (Good luck finding seedless grapes in France!) Some of us discovered that the more raisin like grapes were actually superbly tasty too!
Below is our very informative, and very animated, guide! He really made the trip, he was so chatty and gesticulated everything which made it all very entertaining too! He seemed like a really lovely chap as well, and he plied us with a variety of wines over lunch!
Speaking of lunch…
Post lunch, feeling a little merrier than earlier in the day, we headed round the “factory,” although that’s probably not the right word! My image of people crushing grapes in a big barrels with just their feet by dancing and singing was blown! As such I’m not showing you those pictures, your image of that shall remain unscathed! Instead I shall show you distilling barrels and the finishing product!
So all in all, aside from being knackering, it was a rather fun day! I think the rest of the group enjoyed themselves too, even with me shoving my camera in their faces all the live long day!