Tag Archives: champagne

Saumur Part two – Wine Country!

Saumur Wine Country

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.

beautiful vineyards

beautiful vineyards

Loire Valley, France

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!

I love tiny bubbles!

Louis de Grenelle wines

Louis de Grenelle wines

AckermanOur 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!

Pouring the bubbly!

Wow - these are some big bottles!

Wow – these are some big bottles!

Catherine relaxing in the cave.

Catherine relaxing in the cave.

Enjoying some sparkling wine!

Enjoying some sparkling wine!

Method Traditional

Méthode Traditionelle

Music in the wine caves

Music in the wine caves

Cool art display with champagne flutes

Cool art display with champagne flutes

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Filed under Art, French Finds, Travel, Wine

Fake it until you make it!

We’ve all heard the expression “Fake it until you make it!” and that’s what I intend to do – live like I’m living in France, until I can make the move.

For me, the French/European lifestyle is all about working to live, and not living to work.  Taking time to enjoy life’s pleasures. Being an artist. A writer. Dining outside. When I’m in Europe I take the train to visit different cities. I walk more. I eat bread (*gasp*). Spend hours, sometimes entire days in Museums AND Cafés. Drink Champagne. Enjoy Crêpes and Pain au Chocolat (chocolate croissants)  – a lot! So why not do this now?

Before I leave for my French Adventure, I plan on doing the following things right here in the Good Ole U.S. of A.:

1. Take the train to another State (perhaps Denver to visit my bestie Heidi; or Chicago to visit my brother; or just maybe travel to a city I’ve never visited).
2. Finish my novel.
3. Relax in the park with a loaf of French bread, a bottle of wine and a good book.
4. Start drawing /painting again.
5. Enjoy the local museums and galleries.
6. Dine outside as much as possible.
7. Host a French Dinner & Movie Night –  complete with French music, a French film, Champagne, Hors d’oeuvres and Crêpes!
8. Speak French daily.
9. Cook French cuisine.
10. Sit in a local coffee-house for hours and people watch.

I better get started tout de suite!

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Filed under Fake it until you make it