Articles from: September 2012

Wine Blog – Bordeaux AOC


A conversation about wine from the Bordeaux appellation prompted me to tell you about a very good wine from the 2009 vintage that you should try. We have brought in a quantity of the wine into UK and around France with everyone saying how good the wine is. Both fruity and structured with complex flavours. It is a classic Bordeaux wine with immense potential. Why not have a try. Please contact gfwine at to arange a tasting. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Le Prieuré

Our visit to Le Prieuré has prompted me to tell you about the history of the Priory.  The monks of Benedict founded the priory in the 11th century after the Vikings invasions in the 9th century. It was extended in the 12th century and beyond. Then in the 18th century the revolution in France took over the Priory. Finally in the 20th century the Priory became a hotel as it is today with various extensions over time. So today the Prieuré is a well respected hotel with a fine dining experience. Cheers.

Wine Blog – Languedoc vendange

galets roules

Here's a comment from Valerie Castan of Domaine Castan winemaker in Languedoc on this year's harvest.

"September is well under way. It has always got a nostalgic feel for me, the Summer is over, the air perfumed with fresh grapes aromas and the winery is bustling with activity.

It is a very special period when the year’s hard work is being rewarded by the harvest of fruits gorged in sunshine. Almost twenty happy years now!

The 2012 vintage is expected to be exceptional according to Andre Castan, my father, the winemaker. Having worked closely with our viti-technician, we have been able to reinforce our sustainable and responsible approach to wine growing. An auspicious weather this Summer, very hot and dry (not trying to rub it in there), has provided us with perfectly mature and healthy grapes.

We are very pleased with the quality of this year’s harvest.

The winemaking process is going well and the samples tried are already showing great signs of typicity and quality across the range of whites, reds and roses.

We are extremely looking forward to bottling this taste of sunshine in the new year!"


Wine Blog – The restaurant show

We will be at the restaurant show again this year. In the drinks quarter stand DQ15. If you would like to come along to taste our wines please let us know at We will arrange an e ticket for you. Cheers.


Wine Blog – Enchantoir update

Our local domaine L'Enchantoir is busy with the preparation for the main harvest. Current trends with the testing of the Chenin and Cabernet looks like the main picking of the Chenin will be next week. Today has been very wet and there is some need to worry about the effect on the berries. So like last year some estates have picked now to avoid rot but to the detriment of maturity and balance. Its a difficult call as the year has already made it a hard balancing act and any further rot will further reduce yield. The forecast is not good with further damp weather so it will need a very careful balance to pick at the right moment. Maturity of both red and white berries is essential to avoid a green harvest and allow a more developed structure. Here's hoping. Cheers.

Wine Blog – 2012 vintage update

Here in the Loire valley, France the weather has improved over the months of August and September so if the weather holds for a couple more weeks we should see some good maturity for the Chenin blanc and Cabernet Franc. Yields will be down greatly over last year and over those allowed for the appellations. Typically here in central Loire they could be as low as 50% of the allowable limits so around 30 hectolitres per hectare. Now this will be good if the wine grower has been careful in the vineyards and managed the problem of mildew. If the leaf growth has been maintained then the concentration in the smaller amount of berries will make this vintage something unusual. So again my advice is to be selective by buying from a winemaker who has put his efforts into ensuring the berries although less in quantity are high in quality. You will find them a plenty in the Loire valley. Stick to small passionate winemakers who value the time taken in the vineyard to ensure a good quality crop that will produce some interesting wine this year both red and whites. I look forward to tasting some cracking wines from the 2012 vintage. Cheers.

Wine Blog – A review of the year

We are able to report that our wine tours this year have been busier than ever. Our holiday lettings have also been busier than last year and so it has been a successful season for us here at Manoir de Gourin. We have had some wonderful guests on our wine tours and staying with us at Manoir. We shall endeavour to maintain our high standards to give our new guests th same level of service in 2013. Have a look at our wine tours at  We provide both residential and non residential tours, so come and allow us to take the strain or do your own thing and enjoy a day with us.  Cheers.

Wine Blog – An adventure into Loire wines

A very good day was had with our four guests from Cornwall visiting Saumur today.

Wine Blog – A day exploring the vineyards

We spent an afternoon in the sunshine exploring the saumur vineyards with guests Barrie, Mary, Nicola and Simon with the owner and winemaker Pierre. The chardonnay grapes seen in the picture are nearly at maturity to pick for the sparkling wines of Cremant de Loire and Saumur Mousseux appellations. They should be slightly under mature for some acidity and to maintain the alcoholic level for the finished wine of 12.5%. We enjoyed a full tasting of the white, pink and red sparkling wines. Folowing on from the previous blog the grapes were picked today for one of the sparkling wine houses of Saumur Ackerman.  Cheers.

Wine Blog – A season ending

Our wine tours are all but finished for this year as we give way to the harvest this year. It all started this week with the Chardonnay grapes for the sparkling Saumur and Cremant de Loire appellation wines. This year the sparkling wine houses have increased their payments as the yields will be a lot lower than usual. The Chardonnay harvest started on Tuesday here in our part of the Loire valley, France with a typical potential alcohol level of 11/11.5%. This year the mousseux will not be best from the big wine houses as was the case last year. Stick to the small winemakers who have spent much time in the vineyards doing the green harvest very carefully. Cheers.

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September 2012
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