Articles from: February 2012

Wine Blog – Chateau de Villandry Loire valley

Chateau Villandry ornate gardens

Simon's wine blog: When you visit the Loire valley for a holiday there are so many places to visit and one of them is the Chateau de Villandry which has the most wonderful formal gardens, with ornamental topiary, a maze, and gradens set out in geometric shapes planted with vegtables that form amazing patterns over the summer. Go and see them whether you are interested in gardens or just to enjoy the spectacle.  Have a  look at the website

Manoir de Gourin is an ideal place to stay as a base to visit the sights. See you soon. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Sunrise over Le Puy Notre Dame

The sun is rising over the church of  Puy Notre Dame as viewed from Manoir de Gourin and taken by me at some ridiculously eary hour. I'm not a naturally early riser or to put it another way and to coin Karin's oft repeated adage 'Simon's not very good in the mornings'!

Soon will be another dawn of our season in the loire Valley France. We have some wonderful guests arriving to savour the joys of our intimate wine tours amongst the vines and in the wineries with our passionate winemakers. If only I can get up in time! Cheers.

Wine Blog – wine tour guests at Manoir de Gourin

Here are some of our wine tour guests from around the world enjoying an evening soiree on the terrace of Manor de Gourin. It can sometimes be a long evening as they enjoy the company so much. So why not look us up and see what wine tours we have to offer. Cheers.

Wine Blog – wine tours – Chateau de Chaintres


A wine tour with guests from Africa and Canada at Chateau de Chaintres. Great fun. Why not join in the fun on one of our loire valley wine tours. Cheers.

Wine Blog – self catering in loire valley


Simon's wine blog continues on the holiday  theme with our self catering holiday destination in the Loire valley in France. We have four fabulous cottages in a converted stables in the grounds of the beautiful manor house, and in part of the old 'Chai' wine store. You are able to enjoy the freedom of your own itinerary and fit in one of our wine tours and dinners during your stay. Check us out at Cheers.

Wine Blog – Wine Tours – Loire Valley


Simon's wine blog continues with our wine tours in the beautiful Loire Valley. We are very well placed between the main appellations of Saumur and Anjou so that we are able to give you such a varied tour of thedomaines of our wonderful winemakers. We take you on such informative journeys through the vineyards, into the wineroom, down into the cellar and caves and finally into the tasting room so that you have a full undertanding of the wines and most importantly the role of the winemaker and his passion for making wine. Have a look at our website and see what we have to offer. You may take just a half day of tastings and a tour to a domaine, a one day wine tour including a picnic at the estate, or residential wine tours for 1 to 4 days. A full choice. Cheers.

Wine Blog -Wine Tasting – Thierry Berson

We were fortunate to have a lovely family of four from Chicago come to stay with us at Manoir de Gourin for a three day wine tour last year. Mother, father and their two pretty twenty something daughters. We kicked off their break with a wine tasting dinner hosted by an award winning Sommelier Thierry Berson of Doue la Fontaine.They tasted the wines, chosen by Thierry, that we served with the dinner and delighted in the full explanations given by Thierry.  For more photos of our wine tours in the Loire Valley visit Why not book a holiday? Its great fun. Cheers

Wine Blog – wine tour breaks


Simon's wine blog today is all about holidays. Its that time of year when you will be thinking about your holidays and I've got a jolly good idea for you all.

At Loire Wine Tours we provide amazing short breaks for wine tours and wine tastings with a gentle course on local wines at our base in France. Its called Manoir de Gourin and its in the Loire valley. One of the most interesting destinations in France. if you are interested in learning more about what we do in France take a look at our website Cheers.

Wine Blog – tartrate crystals in wine


Simon's wine blog today is on a matter that every winemaker wrestles with and one which the real natural winemaker will have to use all his guile in order to avoid the outcome. Tartrate crystal deposits are a difficult problem and one which has to be tackled if the tartrate is not to form in a bottle of wine. Although it is quite harmless, potassium bitatrate and calcium tartrate will form crystals that are not acceptable to the average consumer.

Large producers, cooperatives, negotiants, as well as smaller producers who are not concerned about natural wines and who  want to release their wines as soon as posible will have to use one of a number of processes in order to remove the tartrates. These include the contact process of adding micro crystals of potassium bitatrate in a cold environment and then filtering the wine. These micro crystals help the crystalisation of the tartrates. Other methods include Ion exchange, electrodialysis, addition of Metartataric acid, cellulose gums, and  mannoproteins.

The best way is through minimal intervention and if the winemaker uses time and cold conditions he should be able to acheive the deposit of the crystals. Firstly the colloids in the wine prevent the formation of the tartare crystals but the colloids change properties after some time and this allows a natural crystalisation to occur. So probably the most important ingredient in wine ie 'TIME'  will allow a natural process to occur, and this will happen as the wine is allowed to age in the vat or in a barrel. In the winter some winemakers put their wine outside so it cools and the reduced solubility of the tartrates allows a naural crystalisation. There are still many small winemakers, in France at any rate, who do not have the luxury of climate control in their winerooms and so the natural ageing process over the winter is a good natural solution. Cheers.

Wine blog – tasting the new vintages from vats


Read the news about Hubert Deffois's wines in the Vins de Loire magazine. He's received a great review for his sparkling Saumur Brut rosé.

saumur pink blog 19 02 12

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February 2012
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