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
One of the most fun things for me when I’ve travelled to Paris, especially the first time, was finding my family name all over the city.
Rue de Grenelle
My family came to the U.S. from France many (many) years ago, but our family name “Grenelle” (which was changed to Grinnell upon arrival at Ellis Island) is prevalent throughout Paris. In fact, there’s even a neighborhood in Paris named Grenelle.
Map of Grenelle, Paris
In addition, there are streets, i.e., Rue de Grenelle, Grenelle Ave, Boulevard De Grenelle; a Hotel Grenelle; the Grenelle Bridge and Pont de Grenelle – the location where the 9m high scale model of the Statue of Liberty in New York stands, facing in the direction of New York. The Statue was given by the US to France in the 19th century for the Universal Exhibition.
Grenelle Bridge, Pont de Grenelle and the small scale replica of the Statue of Liberty
Rue de Grenelle runs from the Champs de Mars (Eiffel Tower), through the Rue Cler area (where there is a famous street market), cross the Invalid (Napoleon’s tomb), then continues to go through the Ministry area where all beautiful sumptuous old town homes hidden behind those unpretentious looking doors. It finally comes into the St. Germain des Pres area, and ends at the “Place de Croix Rouge” where the Celine’s “Taurus” statue stands.