Travel Wine/tourism/family fun around Chinon

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by John Simson, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Going to be spending a week in Lerné, 10km south west of Chinon, in mid-July.

    It's a family-oriented affair so wine tasting/buying opportunities will be limited. That said, I'd still be very keen to hear any recommendations for good cavistes or growers to visit in Chinon. I am a big fan of Baudry and Raffault and keen to make the acquaintance of Joguet and Alliet. Anyone got any experience of visiting these growers? Realistically I'll almost certainly only get the chance to visit one so perhaps the most accessible/amenable would be best. I speak French and will be with the French in-laws so language is not a problem.

    More broadly, I'd appreciate recommendations for tourist activities, both adult and child-friendly. I've not visited the area before other than Nantes and Tours, and know very little about it. As well as my own 2-year-old and 4-month-old, there will also be my niece and nephew, aged 7 and 4 respectively. So I'd even consider sacrificing my emotional and spiritual health with the odd visit to a hellish theme park/activity centre/etc.

    Many thanks in advance!
  2. John

    its a while since we visited, but I would say that Baudry and Alliet are definitely a booked tasting, there's no open door policy, I tried :(.
    I even think I heard that Alliet is only available for a tasting room in Chinon itself.

    Raffault has a tasting room open at French times, and had back vintages, red and white, to buy and taste which were good.

    Others on the forum visit and even live locally, so hope you get more advise.

    John Simson likes this.
  3. I think your emotional and spiritual health may need a visit to a theme park/soft play centre!

    Bon chance - wine helps!
    John Simson likes this.
  4. Joguet owns Caves des Silenes wine shop on the outskirts of Chinon, where you can find all of his wines, including back vintages.
    Almost opposite is Couly-Doutheil's shop which had, on the day I was there, wonderfully Gallic not bothered service, but the range is all there.
    Maybe a good option if you want to do a quick tasting, pick up a few bottles and not spend half a day with kids in the back of the car.
    John Simson likes this.
  5. Bernard Baudry is the essential destination. If you wish to meet Matthieu he is normally available on a Saturday morning.
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  6. A few ideas John:-

    Fontevraud Abbey for a great historical time, including the tombs of Henry II & Eleanor, and Richard the Lionheart.

    Swimming in the Indre - there is a lovely spot near Huisme just north of Chinon. I take my grandchildren there every summer. Swallows & Amazons sort of place.

    A hot air balloon ride over Chinon and surroundings. Very special at sunset, room only for two plus the pilot.

    Lovely wine bar and restaurant on the banks of the confluence of the Vienne and Loire in Candes-St-Martin, Enfin du Vin.

    Alternative winery visit to the well recommended Baudry - Domaine de la Chevalerie in Restigné, Bourgueil. Lovely caves to explore, top quality range of wines with very distinct differences in terroir to enjoy.

    Chateau and picnic - Chateau de L’Islette near the more famous Azay-Le-Rideau. Interesting history in a lovely setting.

    Feel free to PM me John if you want any extra info.
    John Simson likes this.
  7. Chambord is the biggie where chateaux are concerned. As I recall, it's almost entirely unfurnished - more like visiting a castle here than a stately home. I remember a large spiral staircase which is in fact two spirals - opportunities for some games with your children.

    Not a visitor attraction per se, but I can recommend the French childrenswear store DPAM (your in-laws probably know it well) and you may well coincide with the summer sale. We always came away laden when visiting a town with a branch of DPAM.
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  8. Thanks to everyone for their input, and especially @Michael Keating for the tip on swimming in the Indre - what a great spot!

    In between trying to keep four kids under 6 entertained, I managed to visit Fontevraud, Chinon, and squeeze in a visit to Olga Raffault and a couple of cavistes. I'll post over in the Chinon thread about my vinous experiences.

    A really beautiful area. Extremely quiet where we were staying - except for the relentless hum of combine harvesters (which was great free entertainment for my two-year-old!)
  9. We also have the good fortune to be spending a week in the Loire, Bourgueil to be exact (so Michael's back yard if I am not mistaken).

    We're heading out on Saturday and I'd welcome any suggestions for nice bistro-type restaurants in the area. Tripadvisor seems to suggest 'Saveurs et Papillons' and 'La Rose de Pindare' as potentials, with Le Cafe de Promenade for a cheeky glass of something with a plate of charcuterie, and Le Moulin Bleu for something a little more refined. However, I'd welcome any alternative suggestions, or views on the above, anyone has.

    We are also adventuring with kids, so swimming in the Indre sounds like something I'd like to explore. John, Michael - is that spot easy to find, or would some local knowledge (and directions) prove helpful?

    Tasting wise I think we'll try and get to Domaine de Chevalerie and hopefully Michael's recommendation of Aurélien Revillot. Domaine Villeneuve also, if we venture over that way.

    I've been doing my research whilst enjoying the remnants of a bittle of Yannick Amirault's Bourgueil Le Grand Clos (2009), picked up from the cellar door the last time we were in the area. Concerned with reports of Brett affecting his wines I thought I'd pop this one to see how it was getting on. No 'wet dog' here I'm glad to say and, whilst drinking well now, I would say this still has many happy years ahead of it.
  10. 11220B2F-0FF9-4CC7-B91F-9DFB7A491ECC.jpeg E2E6AFA9-1FD3-4220-83CF-11274A533644.jpeg C1D48DF5-3D8C-40D1-9A0D-52C2992D5704.jpeg

    John, sorry for missing your earlier post and very happy you enjoyed your trip to the Indre.

    James, if you pm me I’ll send you the directions to the swimming spot. I was there today with two of my grandchildren and a friend of theirs and attach a couple of photos.

    The two restaurants you mention above, whilst serving reasonably fine fare, can be lacking a little in atmosphere sometimes. The new kid on the block is in the village 10 minutes east of here, St Patrice, and Les P’tites Terrasses. I had an excellent dinner there two weeks ago, with it so happens Aurélien Revillot and his wife Olivia (you will meet her if you go to Chevalerie for a tasting). The Café de la Promenade is my local, fine cooking these days and a good selection of local wines. Le Moulin Bleu occupies a lovely position but I haven’t eaten there for a while.

    Wines - I am a bit biased towards Chevalerie and Revillot, but why the heck not! Villeneuve has a new tasting room on the main road on the south bank towards Saumur, so no need any longer to clang the bell entering the driveway to their house and former tasting room. If you want an appointment with Aurélien I’ll be happy to help. Would normally be between 6 & 7pm. Chevalerie too if you want but you can turn up there without an appointment. Both wineries very close to each other.

    Happy to help in any way with all things Bourgueil.
  11. Agh, the famous Cafe de la Promenade that Jim Budd mentions from time to time.
  12. Thanks Michael, PM'd you.

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