Category Archives: WINERIES WANDERED

No wine lives in a vacuum. Wineries create more than a beverage but dress it with identity, goals and a whole lot of gibberish. Follow me to their fabricated homes.

A Canadian Winery (and Distillery) Eh!? De Vine Vineyards Wine Review

Wayward Wine continues to ply the uncharted wines of Vancouver Island. It has been rough, but we found some decent Pinot Noir (read here). This marginal-in-the-best-of-times climate manages to counter its Northern latitude by bottling any warmth it can from the eastern straights with its western mountains. The best example: the Butchart Gardens utopia that traps tourists with its improbably lush gardens… Continue reading

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Other Muscadets and Oddities: Coteaux de la Loire, Grandlieu, Gros Plant, Fiefs Vendeens, Chenin, and Muscadet

Yes. Winter grips the Northern hemisphere. But turn your minds to warmer weather. Our 7 month 13 country EU Austerity Drinking Tour has visited Muscadet’s famed Sèvre-et-Maine and every-day Muscadet. This Monday, we try on Muscadet’s other wine regions for size.

On the Loire’s right bank, North of Sèvre et Maine sits Coteaux de la Loire in the hills above Ancenis:

They too mainly grow Muscadet. But how do they perform:

Les Vignerons de la Noëlle’s “Folies Siffait” Muscadet Coteaux de la Loire, France 2011

Like most Muscadet, Noëlle looks pale lemon with a slight fizz. Continue reading

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Nantes, Muscadet, and the vines of Sevre et Maine: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #51

86 days into our EU Austerity Drinking Tour, we leave Tours for Nantes: port of entry into France’s Loire River.

We pass the lovely hills of Saumur and Chinon: famed for cabernet franc.

Then the miserable, industrial Angers flattens before us: a wine region overstretched to countless styles, including the derided Rosé d’Anjou.

But finally our train stops in magnificent Nantes.

Yes. Nantes has castles, chocolate shops, and museums: very French but very Brittany. Really though, Nantes, in a nutshell, is Syfy’s town of Eureka. Jules Verne was born here. Industrial cranes and factories pop up everywhere. The city boasts more trams, buses, trains, and bike-shares than needed. They have a whole, magnificent island dedicated to steam-punk machines: Continue reading

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Chenonceau Castle, Gamay, and a new AOC Touraine Chenonceaux: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #50

Before our EU Austerity Drinking Tour leaves the central Loire for it’s Atlantic Coast, we have to squeeze in a castle. Think of Bordeaux.  You probably think of famed Châteaux.  But most of those are 19th century, retro-wannabes.  Only true, … Continue reading

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Wine Tour Made Easy: Maison des Vins de Loire de Tours, France: EU Austerity Drinking Tour #49

This Monday’s EU Austerity Drinking Tour takes us on a whirlwind wine tour of the Loire…indoors.

Last Monday’s postcard post saw a sun-drenched bike ride.

But, back in Tours, while enjoying its centuries-old city center…

The clouds open, drench, and, drive us…well…into a bottle shop (surprise!):

Maison des Vins de Loire de Tours. A group of winemakers and negociants wanted to educate visitors about the Loire’s many wines, grapes, and regions. So they set up tasting rooms in Tours, Saumur, Nantes, and Angers.

Yes, it’s for tourists. But mostly locals popped in: partly out of pride, partly because the prices are low.

Overwhelmed by their range, hospitality, and knowledge, we visit it twice. Here are some highlights: Continue reading

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