First thing this morning Mike took John and Sue for a trip to their forest by tractor. Much laughter as they were dragged away in the trailor!!!! Then, we headed off wine tasting. This area is riddled with vineyards, both large and small. Some sell their own wine, others combine into a collective.
We set off about 10, it was already very hot, easily 32C.
Our first call was at a vineyard owned by one of a pair of brothers. His brother owns the adjoining fields. They haven’t spoken in 40 years by all accounts! Anyway, all very picturesque and we tried a number of wines, both red and white. The local red wine here is very tannic and the wine tends to be strong and heady. This early in the day, quite a lot of spitting out went on, although a fair amount of swallowing too. We bought some boxes.
Then on to one of the showpiece vineyards, Chateau Laffitte Teston, http://www.chateau-laffitte-teston.com/ , a magnificent place overlooking the vineyards sloping down to the valley below. Madame came out to welcome us and ushered us into a beautiful tasting room with picture windows – again the view. She showed us down into the huge cave below where the red wines were aging in French oak barrels. There was another maturation room above where the white wines were aging. We tried a number of wines here, all very nice, definitely a cut above. And of course we bought a few. As the morning was later not so much spitting out went on, I noticed.
Loaded up we headed off to Maubourguet, a lovely traditional town just to the south. We have been here quite a few times before and we love the traditional houses and the main street lined with its Napoleonic canopy of trees. We enjoyed a cold drink under said trees and then headed into a local restaurant for the table d’hote lunch. It was packed and with good reason. For the princely sum of 12.50 euros we enjoyed a large bowl of hearty vegetable and duck soup, followed by a plate of local charcuterie. I had fish and fabulous duck fat chips for main, Bob had steak and chips. Then we rounded off with crème brulee or apple tart. All washed down with seemingly unlimited jugs of cold rose wine. Princely.
Home then, by about 3, and for most of us, a nap. Hot sun, midday food and wine = snore!!!!! Up again about 530ish and aperos out on the poop deck in the cooler late sun. No one was at all hungry really but we managed to squeeze down some gorgeous local cheeses and bread, washed down with some icy cold white wine. Later we sat indoors and watched some old dvds from 2002 – 6 showing how this lovely house was rescued from its totally ruined state to the comfortable, spacious home it is now. Mike and Sheila have done almost all of the work themselves and it is a project that would terrify most of us. Great credit is due.
Another lovely day….