Saumur Wine Country
The Loire area is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur such as Chinon, Bourgueil, Coteaux du Layon, etc. which produce some of France’s finest wines, and as I soon learned: Bubbly!
As we drove through the Loire Valley in the Saumur area, it was like driving through one postcard after another.
Loire Valley, France
Saumur is famous for its grapes that are similar to Champagne grapes; and using méthode traditionelle the wine makers make exceptional sparkling wines that rival Champagne. I even found one wine maker with my surname – Grenelle (French spelling of Grinnell) which was established in 1859. How exciting!
I love tiny bubbles!
Louis de Grenelle wines
Our first night in Saumur, Catherine took me to visit an even more historic winery, Ackerman; and lucky for us, we happened upon a special event.
There was music (three separate groups throughout the evening), art, games, education, food and of course wine tasting. Plus, the vineyard is on the hill above and the winery is actually in caves below. We walked around the caves and visited the exhibit on making exceptional sparkling wine in the traditional method.
Pouring the bubbly!
Wow – these are some big bottles!
Catherine relaxing in the cave.
Enjoying some sparkling wine!
Music in the wine caves
Cool art display with champagne flutes
According to Conde Nest Traveler, visitors to Marseille during its 2013 reign as a European “Capital of Culture” will experience a city transformed by a multibillion-dollar urban development project billed as the largest in southern Europe. I was impressed by the amount of art along the Old Port and on the walls in the city.
Here is a sample of what I saw…
Mural near the Old Port
Recently unveiled in Marseille, is this giant mirrored canopy called the Port Vieux Pavilion was designed by architecture firm Foster + Partners. The pavilion measures nearly 150 feet long and is made of highly polished stainless steel meant to reflect people and the surrounding harbor.
The Port Vieux Pavilion: A Mirrored Canopy
The Port Vieux Pavilion
The Port Vieux Pavilion: Look ma, it’s me!