Well, not really home, but we are ensconced once again in our comfortable little hideaway in Laurens, deep in the heart of Languedoc wine country. Not that we own the place, of course, but we love it so much here that we are happy to pay for the privilege of returning (for the 3rd time) to what really does feel like a home from home. Apart, that is, from the weather, the scenery, the wine, the food, the language and the general pace of life!
Our journey from Nottingham was fairly uneventful. We left at the stroke of midnight on Friday morning, and actually managed to make the 4am ferry, despite a bit of a scare on the M20, when the car suffered a sudden loss of power. Thankfully, it was just the same "faulty anti-pollution system" that caused it to cut out completely a few weeks ago, whilst driving into Nottingham. But we managed to get to Dover without any problem and the engine light finally went out by the time we got to France. Something to have a look into when we get back to the UK, but I think it may be a case of supermarket fuel clogging-up the system and the fact that it needed a good blast to clear it. And 1,000 miles in 40 hours certainly seems to have done the trick!
Anyway, once in Dunkerque, we headed south towards Reims and onto the Maconnais in southern Burgundy, for a 4pm appointment and a tasting of some brilliant Chardonnay, Gamay and Pinot Noir, made by Emmanuel Guillot at Domaine Guillot-Broux. I'll tell you more about this in a future post. Then it was a half-hour drive to our base for the night in Saint-Gengoux le National, care of my good friend David Bennett and his kindly neighbour, Father Micheal MacAvish, who was there waiting for us with the key - not to mention a very welcome chilled bottle of Crémant de Bourgogne and a selection of nibbles. A decent supper and a good night's sleep was just what the doctor ordered, and by 9am Saturday morning, we were ready for the last part of our journey south. And so we swapped the gentle slopes of southern Burgundy for the rugged landscapes of central Languedoc..........
|A sunny Friday evening in the Maconnais|
|An even more sunny Monday evening in Languedoc (looking north, from the vineyards of Faugeres towards the foothills of the Haut Languedoc)|
On the way, we stopped for visits to a couple more wine growers, in the far south-west of the Cotes du Rhone and nearby Costieres de Nimes, with the latter in particular yielding some spectacularly brilliant wines. Again, I will report on these over the next few days, but suffice to say that I was very excited at this new discovery.
We finally arrived in Laurens at around 7pm, having stocked up on food and supplies in Pézenas. The weather since then has been mostly hot and sunny, though today was rather unusual, in that it was mostly cloudy, but every time the sun peeped through the clouds, it started to spit with rain! The forecast for the next couple of days is for rather changeable conditions, so it is the ideal time to go hunting for wine. We have three visits planned for tomorrow, plus perhaps a couple on Thursday, on which I will also report very soon.
Meanwhile, it is off to bed.........