26 March 2012

Le Cellier du Beaujardin, Bléré

Yesterday morning we went to the annual open house held by a wine cooperative called Le Cellier du Beaujardin. It's located in the town of Bléré, near the Château de Chenonceau and 20 miles west of Saint-Aignan and 15 miles east of Tours.

I was surprised as how many people were in attendance, especially on a Sunday morning. The fine weather probably had something to do with the big turnout. There were tastings of the 2010 wines that are currently available for purchase, and of the 2011 wines that will be released over the next few months. Bléré and the vineyards the Cellier are part of the new Touraine-Chenonceau appellation, as is the Saint-Aignan area.

The Cellier du Beaujardin price list for
the wine it sells in bottles.

In addition to the tastings, there was a buffet of food like rillettes, pâtés, cheeses, and bread spread out on a table where open bottles of wine were available on a pour-your-own basis. As it was just before lunchtime, we enjoyed a little apéritif before we made our purchases.

This was our "free bonus gift" after we bought the equivalent
of 32 bottles of wine for 50 euros.

We and many other customers had brought along our little plastic wine jugs to be filled with the local Chenin Blanc and Côt (Malbec) wines. Others were buying bottles or boxes of wine. At the end of the process, there was a cadeau — a gift — for those who bought wine: it's a little plastic bag of rosé wine with a spout. It would be a great way to take wine to a picnic, and it might just be the future of wine packaging around here, replacing the traditional bottle.

The price list for wines sold in bulk (en vrac) — you bring
your own containers and they fill them for you.

After we got home, I looked in detail at the Cellier du Beaujardin web site. There are pages in French and pages in English. I came across this sentence, which mystified me:
“The wine growers from Bléré have striven for the production of their wines of Touraine blanc, rosé and rouge and they have been in a turmoil.”

« Les vignerons de Bléré oeuvrent à la production de leurs vins de Touraine blanc, rosé, rouge et effervescent. »
What the French actually says is that "the grape-growers of Bléré busy themselves producing Touraine white, rosé, red, and sparkling wines." Effervescence in French can mean "turmoil" (in the social sense) or "sparkling" (as applied to wine or other beverages). The translator — it's probably a computer translation — goofed.

Le Cellier du Beaujardin has an annual production of about 270,000 bottles of wine. The co-op counts 20 grape-growers working 500 acres of vines. The prices it advertises are typical of what you can expect to find at the local wine co-ops and at individual cellars owned and operated by small wine producers.


  1. If they are involved in the new appellation changes they probably have been in a turmoil! One of the producers we use failed to get in, which is a shame. They were hoping to be able to use the magic word 'Chenonceau' on their labels, and the sad part is that they have a genuine historical connection to the chateau.

  2. With all the foreigners living in France 'next door', I'm so sorry that they don't just show, say, an English neighbour a draft of their ad. copy to stop the daft computor-like translations. I know that we'd do it for nothing to help. Mind you I'd have to get the English dictionary out , my spelling has gone to pot!

  3. I'd be in a turmoil if I read something like that and, as Lesley suggest, I'd email them to point out their mistake. In return you might get a bottle of "turmoiling" wine!

  4. I'll have a dozen Rose and the same of the Gamay thanks Walt. Save me taking it back in May, I'll drink while I'm there!!!!

  5. Wow, what a great price you got!

    The translation issue is a chuckle :))

  6. Computers are good for many things, but translation isn't one of them. Also have heard that Siri doesn't understand the Southern dialect.

    I'm glad you got some good wine at the good price with a gift thrown in.

  7. Those price are incredible. I would certainly have enjoyed the tasting and appetizer portion...

  8. Oui, oui, you really know where and how to buy wine, Ken! Was the buffet gratuit?

    Mary in Oregon

  9. Yes, the buffet was gratuit. As for the wine prices, there are a hundred places where you can buy wine for just as little. And for the translation, the next time I go over there maybe I'll try to talk to someone. Maybe there's a webmaster listed on the Beaujardin site...

  10. One of my regrets is that I did not pay attention to the wine part of my education while at Hotel Management school in Austria.
    Now, living here, there is so much to catch up. I really want to understand our region and it's products much better.


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