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Exploring Loire Valley Wine Caves

Staying in a small village near Amboise was one of the best choices on this visit to the Loire Valley. Not only were we close to beautiful châteaux, but there were also Loire Valley wine caves all around. 

Loire Valley Wine Caves

It was wine time after a day of visiting Château Ambroise and Château Clos Luce. Fortunately, the Rick Steves travel guide, Caves Duhard, recommended a wine bottler and merchant nearby. There was some excellent wine, musty caves, and ancient bottles. (Note: Since this post, Caves Duhard has expanded and rebranded to Les Caves Ambacia, specializing in old vintages from the Loire Valley — an excellent reason for another visit!)

Loire Valley Wine Caves
Loire Valley Wine Caves

Loire Valley Wine Caves

Loire Valley Wine Caves

Loire Valley Wine Caves

Loire Valley Wine Caves

Loire Valley Wine Caves

Loire Valley Wine Caves

 Another find was just around the corner from our chalet in Ambroise: Caves du Pigeonnier.

http://www.le-pigeonnier-de-fombeche.eu/

Loire Valley Wine Caves

My friend Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France, who has taken many tours in France with her travel customers,  says this was the “best-guided wine tour ever.”

Loire Valley Wine Caves
Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

With Nancy performing as interpreter to the few English speakers,  we all learned much about wine production in the Loire, especially about the 300-year-old cave owned by the same family for six generations.

Loire Valley Wine Caves
Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France
Loire Valley Wine Caves
Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley

The ancient cave has been enlarged in recent years, yet wine-producing techniques from its beginning are still prominent, including the “vat” in the cave wall that was used in the process before the introduction of barrels.

Loire Valley Wine Caves
Guestault Caves of the Loire Valley
Loire Valley Wine Caves
Bubbling juices and skins are being prepared to use as “coloring.”
Loire Valley Wine Caves
Wooden crate contraption that rotates to turn bottled wine during the production process

Under the wine appellation (AOC) Montlouis, the production at Guestault is predominately white wines from Chinon grapes, including sparkling wines.
Loire Valley Wine Caves

As ancient as the caves and some original processing methods, the grape production at Guestault is modern. I turned on the video recorder for this explanation, interpreted onsite by Nancy.

Stay tuned …

Day trip from Uzes to the Cevennes

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