Bubbles from the Loire Valley

The Loire Valley in France is a place of endless castles; Chambord, Chenonceau and another one hundred castles.

The majestic entrance to the castle.

Chateau de Chenonceau

It has been said for centuries that the Loire Valley was a place of what was defined as “la Douceur Angevine” or “the most pleasant climate of Anjou”. And, that is why the French kings built their castles on the banks and surrounds of that long and wide river that is the Loire.

As well, for the same time, the Loire has been a wine growing region famous for its Sancerre, its Muscadet and numerous other wines. In the nineties, we were in contact with a wonderful producer and imported their wines to include in our portfolio when we felt that a broad selection of wines added to our budding operation.

The Chenonceau Gallery which spans the river.

As we focused on rethinking the business of the Williamsburg Winery, we felt that all our attention would be dedicated to improving everything in our wine-making process from viticulture to barrels to the ultimate selection of the range of our wines. We set aside the importation of wines but maintained our multiple contacts with producers in Italy, Spain and of course the many regions of France.

Chateau de la Presle

Wedmore Place, the country hotel on the grounds of the farm, opened in late ’07. We wanted our own bubbly for our guests and contacted our friends at Chateau de la Presle which is located very near the Loire. For these last years, we have had quantities of their beautiful Cremant, Methode Champenoise, shipped to us with its Wedmore Place label.

The new Vintage Rosé Cremant in the name of their beautiful daughter.

Last Fall, while in France, we were delighted to make a short stop and get better acquainted with the younger generation which is now responsible for the management of the Chateau’s vineyards and its wine production.

The wine cellar in the Chateau de la Presle is filled with artifacts including a wine press from the Renaissance Period.

Upon our arrival in late November, we were surprised by a gift from Albane, seven years old, the daughter of Frederick and Anne Sophie Meurgey. She presented us with a near perfect picture of an American flag and pointed out that she was excited to meet persons living in the US. Said she: “Note there are fifty stars on the flag. I would love to go to New York.”  She also had a drawing of a yellow taxi cab, the Statue of Liberty and the new World Trade Center.

The drawings that Albane presented us, showing her enthusiasm for the U.S. and particularly New York.

Anne Sophie with Françoise in the wine cellar.

Albane is also the name of the new vintage rose Cremant which will be part of our next inbound shipment from France.

One of our objectives was to finalize all the details on the shipment of the cases that had been readied for departure.  The wines arrived with a bit of delay in the Trans-Atlantic travel and reached Williamsburg in January.

The Cremant is available in our Retail Store as well as at the Café Provençal, the fine dining restaurant of Wedmore Place.

See also the Chateau on www.domaine-penet.com.

Patrick G. Duffeler
Founder & Chairman

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