Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bistrot Les Tontons, Saumur

After a shockingly cold spell at the beginning of February winter, for now... appears to have left the Loire Valley.

Snow has been exchanged for sunshine and cloudless blue skies, and a hint of spring can be felt in the air as the days now start to visibly lenghten and warm.

Last week the final touches to the bistro's façade were completed - here's a sneek peek at the new look of Bistrot Les Tontons, Place Saint Pierre, Saumur.

A bientôt !

Sunday Afternoon Wine Course & Wine Tasting with Gérald at Bistrot Les Tontons, Saumur

Sunday Afternoon Wine Course & Wine Tasting held every Sunday afternoon throughout spring & summer at Bistrot Les Tontons, Place Saint Pierre, Saumur.

Join Gérald, a bilingual French wine professional from the Loire Valley, every Sunday (17h00 to 19h00) from April to October.

Held at Gérald’s wine bar and bistro enjoy a comprehensive wine course and technical wine tasting.  Discover the different cépages, grape varieties, and the methods applied to creating the blanc, rosé, rouge and refreshing sparkling wines produced in the Loire Valley.

To make a reservation or for further information please contact Sarah-Jane: email: info@loirevalleyuncorked.net or tel: +33 (0)5 49 22 34 09

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Valentine's Day in the Loire Valley is no ordinary day !

Tuesday of this week was Valentine's Day !

And without a hint of nerves to give the game away, all looked set to be a normal day for Emma as she and Ben met Gérald for their wine tasting & tour.

Au contraire Ben had a surprise !!  And after lunch at Les Tontons the afternoon turned into something exceptional - a marriage proposal !!!

Needless to say, from the lovely photograph congratulations and félicitations were shared to the clink of glasses and we wish Emma & Ben the greatest of happiness together.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

What the future holds for vine growing in 2016

Validated by the European Commission in 2008, the free plantation of vines throughout the European Union will be allowed as from 01 January 2016.  Needless to say, this is causing great concerns to all professionals within the industry whose current regulations are extremely strict.

Article taken from : Courrier de l’Ouest, samedi 11 février 2012

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Salon des Vins de Loire, Angers 49

On Tuesday Gérald and I visited the Loire Valley Wine Fair in Angers (49).  Now in its 26th year the Salon des Vins de Loire is the largest single gathering of Loire Valley wine producers (550 vignerons) and certainly a date in the diary for wine importers, retail and commerce.

Set in two great halls the wine fair is an impressive sight, and it was our objective to source new wines for Bistrot Les Tontons, our wine bar in Saumur and for Ten Green Bottles, with whom we are in partnership with, and have a wine bar, The Wine Shop & Tasting Room in Brighton, UK.

On a social level the wine fair is a great opportunity for us to catch up with the wine producers we work closely with.

One Domaine in particular is Domaine de la Paleine located in Le Puy Notre-Dame (49), AOC Saumur & AOC Saumur-Puy-Notre-Dame, and whose award winning wines are served, and can be purchased, at Bistrot Les Tontons.

Congratulations!! For 2012 Domaine de la Paleine was awarded the : Ligers d'Argent & Ligers de Bronze for the quality of its wines.

Owned by Marc & Laurent Vincent, Domaine de la Paleine continues to be represented at salon des vins, wine fairs, by Gérald.

And today whilst talking with Marc we sampled new vintages of favoured wines which we have followed for over 10 years.

Next we headed to see Le Petit Saint Vincent, Varrains (49), AOC Saumur-Champigny, whose wines are served at Bistrot Les Tontons.

Albeit not photographed Le Petit Saint Vincent produces a divine sparkling rosé, which was in great demand throughout last summer.

A Domaine whose wines have been produced by the same family for four generations and whose vines age between 30 and 80 years old.

The wines were a pleasure for me to sample, in particular the 2010 chenin!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Saumur - Saturday morning market

Every Saturday morning Saumur hosts a wonderful fresh food market, a market well worth exploring if the opportunity passes.

Place Saint Pierre, the pretty square, and historical heart of Saumur, is where the majority of the artisanal producers have their stalls - a changing vision of colour as each season dictates the fruit and vegetables available.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

13ème Dive Bouteille, Château de Brézé 49

'All good things come to an end' and after a remarkably mild winter the snow arrived!

Not to be deterred Gérald and I headed off to the organic and biodynamic wine fair, La Dive Bouteille, held in the impressive troglodyte caves under the stunning Château de Brézé.

Marion from Bistrot Les Tontons joined us as we sourced new wines, not only for our wine bar Bistrot Les Tontons in Saumur but also for Ten Green Bottles, with whom we have a partnership and wine bar in Brighton, The Wine Shop & Tasting Room.

An extremely well supported wine fair vignerons from - Champagne - Alsace - Jura - Savoie - Bourgogne - Beaujolais - Bordeaux et Sud-Ouest - Rhône - Languedoc - Roussillon - Provence-Corse - Loire - were in attendance.

Including producers from Géorgie, Serbie, Italie, le Coste (Italie), Espagne; Argentine, Chili and producers presenting cognac, ciders and liqueurs.

An expert in his field it is always an enlightening experience for me to join Gérald at wine fairs, not only to sample new and vintage wines but, in addition, to meet the vignerons directly, many of whom Gérald has known since his days of owning a bar à vin, wine bar in Paris.

On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting Thierry Navarre, Domaine Thierry Navarre - Domaine Thierry Navarre will soon be available at Bistrot Les Tontons, Saumur.

Gallery of Photos : 13ème Dive Bouteille