A Forever Memory, Part 2


Chenonceau—one of the most famous chateaux in the Loire Valley ( actually sits astride the Cher).  Susan resumed weaving her stories of business marriages, soulmate searches, and men off at war.  Chenonceau is privately owned now by the same family since 1913 and the furnishings, although not original to the house, have been collected to reflect various eras of this estate.  

The Germans didn’t bother with Chenonceau during WWII because the Cher flooded in May 1944 and the Nazis declared it a stinking mess and moved on.  Today the 3 gardens are beautifully designed and a cutting garden supplies two full time florists with blooms for arrangements throughout the house.  A few rooms also feature open wood fires, and both the flowers and fires are possible because it’s a privately owned and not under state regulations.

During WWI the owners created a hospital for seriously wounded fighters and housed them in the Great Hall.  Fresh flowers still commemorate the event.

Given our current interest in framing and curating, I couldn’t help but take photos of some of the more ornate pieces.

And here’s our old friend Louis XIV who was, of course, somehow related to someone else back in the day who lived here.  His magnificent frame has only 4 pieces.

So after strolling the grounds, seeing the donkeys which supplied milk for soap (which I thought stank), we met Claudette for another lovely ride, this time to Vouvray. 

As I am continually learning about wines, I now understand that the French never put the type of grape on a label.  Rather, you must know which grape is grown in which area.  In Vouvray it’s only Chenin Blanc.we were about to further our education of Vouvray wines at a family-owned (since 1939) winery.

Interestingly some of the initial conversation between Susan and Letitia our guide centered on the recent frost of April 27.  This vineyard lost about 20-30% of its crop which seemed steep until compared to vineyards in Chinon which lost 70-80%.  

I didn’t know that most Vouvray in France is consumed as a sparkling wine, and when we tasted it, I understood why.  The tiny delicate bubbles are palate-pleasing and could easily become a happy addition at 1270 Creekside.

In this vineyard some vines are grown on slopes of mostly limestone and some on slopes featuring flint.  On the tasting it was evident, as the flint felt and tasted “clean” and crisp while the limestone was rounder and more fruit forward.

I’ll try to track down the “flint wine” in NY which is sold there under a different label featuring an ammonite and is actually named as such.

By now it was past 6:30.  Our day with Claudette had started at 9, and it was time to say au revoir. Sigh….

We’ll long remember this incredible day , our new friends, the great car stories, the French countryside, the look of surprise on Don’s face , and my personal satisfaction of pulling off a big one!

4 responses »

  1. Fantastic! So glad you got to see Chenonceau, one of my favorite castles in France. Accolades to you for making Don’s week! ๐Ÿท๐Ÿท. Love the painting of the king! ๐Ÿ‘‘

  2. I loved my late fall visit to Chenonceau. The floral arrangements at that time were in brilliant shades of red, purple and gold. It’s magical in every season.

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