Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week-end in Chablis

Chablis 2011 vineyards
Cool clear ice bag
English speaking journalists covering wine festival

Hotel by night
Private home
Private home

Hotel Laroche bathroom
Beautiful bedroom
Nice, huh?

Bagpiper honoring the vineyard

Last week-end was the wine festival Saint-Vincent 2011 in Chablis. It's the celebration of the grape and I was delighted to be invited by friends who have several vineyards in Chablis.

It started with a 6 hour drive from my home in SW France to Chablis in the Burgundy region of France. It was a pleasant drive and I arrived at the beautiful Hotel Laroche in time for dinner with lots of old friends.

The village was totally decorated with artificial flowers, from one end to the other. I can only imagine the work involved in covering every winter tree, bush and house with these beautiful flowers.

People walking down the street had wine glasses hanging from ribbons around their neck and they went from one wine cave to another filling up. Needless to say it was a very happy crowd.

Sunday morning, after breakfast, we took off to visit the vineyards and have our own personal wine tasting. There were about 10 of us. This seemed unusual to me but not to my friends, who enjoyed tasting about 8 different varieties of locally grown Chablis at 10 o'clock in the morning. We stayed there for awhile, buying wine, loading our cars (some with as many as 40 cases) to bring to our various homes in London, Paris and Belgium. It was impressive how much wine one can load in their 4 wheel drive vehicles

We followed this with a tour of my friends three vineyards and a view of his newest, to be planted, field. It's all about wine in Chablis and I was fascinated with how much I learned about the growing of our favorite drink. A very good friend played the bagpipes to honor the vineyard.

After a quick lunch of duck and frites, we walked through the very crowded village and joined in the revelry.

Dinner was at the hotel with just a few of us who had not yet gone home. The table next to us was English speaking so of course we started a conversation. They were American and English journalists covering the wine festival for various wine magazines.

After everyone imbibed great quantities of wine we had a good night sleep. I drove back home the next morning.

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