Over the last weekend I was privileged to watch a number of renowned artists at work including my fellow blogger – David Cobbold – at the 2013 edition of Bourgueillothérapie – the fourth. This is a harmonious blend of wine and art, which is organized by Sophie and Ludo Ragot proprietors of Café de la Promenade in Bourgueil.
At every Bourgueil or Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil domaine involved in Bourgueillothérapie there is at least one artist, who has Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday to create a piece of art – painting, sculpture etc. – that corresponds to the theme of the year. For 2013 the theme was the roots of art and wine.
David was attached to the Caslot family’s Domaine de la Chevalerie. After lunch he decided to head off into the vineyards – Les Busardières – to seek inspiration, so I missed him when we dropped by at Chevalerie to see how the artists were getting on. However, I did catch up with him and his painting the next morning at the Café de la Promenade.
Most of the artists finished off their works in Les Halles in the centre of Bourgueil on the Sunday. Then late afternoon all the works were auctioned with the proceeds going to a charity, which changes every year. For 2013 it was a charity that supports kids with the rare Rubenstein Taylor syndrome. The auction raised just under 7500€ for some 45 pieces of art with prices ranging from 30€ to 1000€. It was Catherine and Pierre Breton, who successfully bid the 1000€, so if the price of their wine creeps up we will know why!!
Early on Saturday morning four Dutchmen dropped into the Cafe de la Promenade. They asked Ludo about Bourgueillotherapie. Ludo explained the programme and told them that it was 5 € for a tasting glass. After a little reflection the foursome decided to buy one glass between them. Hysterical! You just couldn’t make it up.
Excellent food and great value@Vincent and Olivia’s new restaurant in Ingrandes-en-Touraine
On Friday night we had a real treat as we ate with Patricia and Philippe Boucard at the new restaurant – Vincent Cuisinier de Campagne. Olivia and Vincent are right next to Domaine de Lamé Delisle Boucard. We had a brilliant meal and some wonderful wines – the 1959 Cuvée Prestige, Lamé Delisle Boucard was grandiose! Not only is the food excellent but prices are very reasonable.
There are only five tables so you need to book!
Visite des Vignes@Vouvray
This morning I was in Vouvray for the annual Visite des Vignes, which is held before the harvest. This is an initiative that was started by Jacques Puisais many years ago. Part of the appellation was certainly badly hit by the brief but violent hailstorm of 17th June. The worst affected are the vines along the Première Côte and just in from there.
The storm came up from the south-west crossing the Vienne, the Cher and the Loire hitting Vouvray before moving on north east. The worst of damage extends eastward to Le Haut Lieu up on the plateau. After that the damage grows progressively less, so at Domaine Huet the worst affected is Le Haut-Lieu with the Clos du Bourg a little less affected with Le Mont the least affected. In communes like Chancay and Vernou the vignerons are expecting a normal harvest. So there will be 2013 made in Vouvray but obviously less than normal.
Our first visit was to a parcel of vines in Vouvray called La Blottière owned by Michel and Damien Douzilly. Here not only had the vines been subjected to the full force of the hailstorm but also some buildings here still had tarpaulins over the roofs badly damaged by the hailstones the size of golf balls.
2013 Loire vintage beginning to kick off
Although many appellations won’t be starting until well into October, today has seen a few start – Muscadet and Fiefs Vendéens. During this week there will be some grapes for rosé as well as I assume some destined to Crémant de Loire and Méthode Traditionelle.
Is French justice about to make an ass of itself?
Olivier Cousin will be before the Tribunal at Angers to hear the judgment against him for putting ‘Anjou Pur Breton’ on a label of Vin de France. Although there is little doubt that Olivier enjoys provocation – the picnic and his arrival with his horses and a barrel of red is an example. However, it is clearly ridiculous that Olivier should face possible imprisonment and a substantial fine instead of a mere slap on the wrist.
‘Bonjour à tous,
Le jour du tribunal est arrivé, c’est le 2 Octobre
Donc je vous invite à me retrouver pour un pique-nique citadin sur la place du Palais de justice d’Angers.(pique nique sorti de votre panier, moi je viens avec mes chevaux et une barrique de rouge).
Nous assisterons au jugement avec Maître Eric Morain et des journalistes.
Nous pourrons à l’occasion se souhaiter de bonnes vendanges et une bonne fin d’année, en reprenant un verre à la Cave St Aubin.
"Mieux vaut Boire du rouge que Broyer du noir", dirait Benoist REY.
Merci à tous de votre soutien.
Olivier Cousin vigneron en Anjou.’