Two Facel Vegas and a pre-war Lagonda @Domaine de la Noblaie, Ligré (AC Chinon)
Couple with dog seeking to make open Lagonda
comfortable as rain increases….
Asked to organise visits last week in Bourgueil and Chinon for six classic car enthusiasts – two with examples of France’s 1950s and 1960s luxury sports car – Facel Vega, we spent an enjoyable two days enjoying two fine lunches interspersed with a couple of visits.
We started on a high – a remarkable tasting at Lamé Delisle Boucard in Ingrandes de Touraine going back to 1928. Details here. This was followed by an excellent lunch at Lamé’s neighbours – Vincent le Cuisinier. If you haven’t yet eaten Chez Vincent clear your diary and get down there quick – superb but booking is essential as there are very few tables.
The following day we reversed the order of events – having a very good lunch at the well established Auberge Val de Vienne in Sazilly before heading to Domaine de la Noblaie in nearby Ligré. Details here.
Update on Loire 2016
Today we head to the Pays Nantais for a quick look at how the harvest is progressing here. The Ban des Vendanges was on 15th September.
However, a quick VTT ride through the vineyards of Saint-Georges-sur-Cher reveals a rather sorry sight:
Variable ripeness within a bunch with
some grapes frazzled by hot weather (19.9.16)
(above and below)
Not looking pretty!
2016 Vendanges in Saint-Georges-sur-Cher, AC Touraine
This brief report comes with a health warning as to date I have only looked at couple of sites in Chinon plus taking a ride today through some of the vineyards of Saint Georges-sur-Cher. In addition I have also talked to a number of Loire vignerons but even so it is dangerous to jump to conclusions on a small sample.
However, we can say that 2016 has been a difficult year with frost at the end of April, very heavy rain causing widespread flooding at the end of May and beginning of June. After this many producers had to deal with powerful mildew attacks. Then in July and August the weather turned dramatically hot and very dry, so much so that there were drought conditions by early September.
However, rain started on evening of Tuesday 12th September, so the drought is over. But the drought has probably made the veraison prolonged so within the same bunch you can still see green grapes along with black ones making picking difficult. The very hot weather also frazzled some of the grapes as these photos show.
There are, of course, some normal bunches without sunburn or obvious long veraison, but it looks a complicated vintage.
Shrivelled by the heat of July and August
Further reducing the yield
(above and below)
A significant percentage of this bunch has been heat frazzled.