19 August 2011

Winery visit but no photos here

Our visit to Catherine Roussel's Clos Roche Blanche wine-making caves yesterday was really interesting. Mme Roussel said it was okay for us to take some pictures, but she asked that no pictures be posted on the 'net. I'll honor that request.

One of Saint-Aignan's restaurants, Chez Constant

Clos Roche Blanche exports a lot of its wine to the U.S. The wines are whites from Sauvignon Blanc grapes in several styles, and red from Cabernet Franc and Côt (a.k.a. Malbec). The cave is a series of "galleries" carved out of the soft limestone rock of a steep hillside. The spot where we stood around a barrel talking and tasting wines was 20 meters (70 feet) below ground. Again, sorry about the lack of photos.

A shop called "The Workshop" in old Saint-Aignan

The rain held off in the afternoon, and we had a good lunch with our friends but we ate inside because it looked like the skies might open up any minute. After lunch, we went outside and played with Callie and our friends' Bernese Mountain Dog, Gracie.

Two very old buildings just off the main square
in the old part of Saint-Aignan

The sun's out this morning and we are supposed to have a hot, dry weekend. The grapegrowers, including Catherine Roussel and our neighbor Bruno Denis (Domaine de la Renaudie) will be able to relax for a few days. I saw Bruno out in the vineyard a couple of days ago and he said the stress level was high because of the negative effects the recent damp, warm weather could have on the grapes, which are nearly ripe.

The church in Saint-Aignan dominates the "skyline".

The harvest, called les vendanges in French, will start in 10 or 12 days, which is earlier than usual. With any luck, the weather will be nice and the grapes will continue to ripen and sweeten up, sans mold or mildew, over these last days of August.


  1. Wow, that little building next to the atelier certainly looks like it dates back a couple of centuries... do you know how old it is?

  2. Maybe I'll get to see the beginning of a harvest- that will be a first for me!

  3. I totally do not understand the French objection to pictures. What do they think they're protecting?

  4. French law states that a person can in fact be photographed without giving permission, however to publish the photograph, the photographer needs to get the subject's permission.
    Many French people don't understand the distinction and the occasional few will give you a "right to privacy" lesson if they see a camera lens pointed in their direction.
    Now, however, even the French constraint on publishing photos of people without their permission is being superseded by the EU charter.
    The landmark case was that of photographer Luc Delahaye.


    In any event, it's becoming more and more a mute point nowadays because almost everyone has a camera on their cellphone.
    Is that person just calling his publisher or is he taking my photo?

  5. I will hope for a wonderful harvest without mildew... we love your grape products with a passion!

    Loved seeing the old buildings of Saint-Aignan.



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