Harvesting in the vineyard of Château du Petit Thouars (photo on me taken by my friend Anna edited by me)
Remember when I visited the fairytale alike castle Château du Petit Thouars in the Loire Valley together with my friend Carol this summer (when we had been invited for a picnic)? Recently I recieved an invitation for their harvesting and I wasn’t late to confirm I would be happy to participate! I’ve never done harvesting of wine grapes before in my life, but it’s always been on my list to do. Especially when it’s done in the Loire Valley (Val-de-Loire), that is not only famous for the several hundreds beautiful castles but also their great wines.[pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Loire Valley, not only famous for their several hundreds castles but also their great wines[/pullquote]
Together with my friend Anna, we left Paris after work on Friday evening and set direction towards Château du Petit Thouars. As the harvesting of grapes was about to begin already at 08:30 on the Saturday morning we got to stay as guests at the castle. Second time I’m sleeping in a castle (first time was at Château de Lalande a few weeks ago…soon to be posted on my blog…) and I slept like a princess <3
In order to catch the sunrise me and Anna woke up already by 06:30..we went for a morning walk and were totally under the spell of the beautiful nature surroundings of the castle. After our breakfast we were ready for the harvesting and joined a group of around 40 people who had gathered near the farmhouse that also belongs to the castle and located just next by the beautiful plateau of vines. Sébastien explained it was the grape cabernet franc that we were about to pick and that it was for their crémants (sparkling wine) in this case their sparkling rosé wine. Michel Pinard, the winemaker (who has worked several years with the famous Chinon winemaker Charles Joguet) explained for us what grapes to cut and the ones to avoid picking and after some safety guidelines we were then off on one line each with a cutter and a plastic basket to collect the grapes. Even though it was tirening, for the back and knees..I must say it was also lots of fun and I enjoyed very much to experience and harvesting the grapes. We had a break around 11 where we had some casse croute, and wine from Château du Petit Thouars, ofcourse, before we continued finishing the rows that were left. In total we harvested 4,5 ton grapes, not bad! [pullquote width=”300″ float=”right”]In total we harvested 4,5 ton grapes![/pullquote]
After all the hard work we returned to the Château du Petit Thouars, to their historical tasting room, for a well-deserved Harvester’s lunch..that was finished with delicious cheese from Vèronique Lepage’s, La Boutinière, that makes delicious chèvre cheese and I loved the St Maure. Might be I will buy some next time I’m going to the area. For dessert we had a tarte vendange, which is like a tarte aux pommes but with some red wine added, delightful! Before returning to Paris Sébastien and D’Arcy gave us bottles of wine as thanks :-) Will give a few of them to my friends so they can try their great wine! And if you are curious, don’t forget you can always contact Château du Petit Thouars and go there for a visit and a dégustation of their wines…and even for a picnic in their vines ;-) A very unique experience!
Curious about my day ? Scroll down for some photos I took during the harvesting!
Château du Petit Thouars – Saint Germain Sur Vienne (LA CHAUSSÉE) 37500 France
Château du Petit Thouars, just before the sunrise
The green surroundings..
The trees of the alley leading to the castle
Imagine this alley later during the Autumn..when the leaves have changed colours <3
Dimitri joined us at the harvesting, and luckily his friend came by and kept him company ;-)
A group of around 40 people, getting instructions before we set off for picking the wine grapes
Amazing light in the vineyard…the empty baskets perfectly aligned..ready to be filled with picked wine grapes!
The cabernet franc grapes
Basket filled with cabernet franc grapes…
Me, on my way emptying my basket filled with grapes
The baskets were emptied here…
D’Arcy, preparing the casse croute ;-)
In total we harvested around 4.5 ton grapes!
A selection of Château du Petit Thouars wine – they have recieved many awards!
The Harvester’s lunch in the historic tasting room
It wasn’t fun to leave the castle…
Can’t wait to go back again :-)