Archive for September 9th, 2020

September 9, 2020

Another wine story of Bordeaux! PartII!!!

So yes here I am with another wine story of Bordeaux. I have written some posts on wine one of my passions in my life. And of course, on Bordeaux wines which is a very big area indeed.  There is a smaller area that I like the most call Médoc right in the peninsula between the confluence of the Dordogne and Garonne rivers and the Atlantic ocean.

Let me tell you again about some of my all time favorite properties as I have found some pictures from my vault and even if paper photos and dated will complement rather nicely this post. But first , a bit about the Médoc, just a bit ok

The Médoc is in the Gironde department 33 of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. There are three parts to it: Bas-Médoc, Haut-Médoc and Landes, and two terroirs, the famous Médoc vineyard along the estuary, and Landes du Médoc towards the ocean. The coast is dotted with small seaside resorts: Soulac, Montalivet, Carcans, Hourtin or Lacanau, which is wonderful and many times with the family here. The wine part of the Médoc mainly corresponds to Haut-Médoc . The Médoc vineyard includes the following appellations: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint -Julien, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-Médoc and Margaux. Of course, the best in the world!!!

Here is a another sampler ok , hope you enjoy it as we do!

The Château Batailley is a 55 hectare wine estate located in Pauillac in Gironde. Located in AOC Pauillac, it is classified fifth grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855. The name of this property comes from the word Battle which took place in 1453 on the vineyards and the Château. It was the 100 years war. During this war, the French reconquered Château Latour which was occupied by the English and which marked the end of the British reign in Aquitaine. In the 17C, vines were planted on these lands rich in history. The grounds of the Château were designed in the 19C by Barillet-Deschamps, landscape designer for Napoleon III.  Batailley is a classic Pauillac, with a deep ruby color, well structured and pronounced notes of cassis. It is now owned by Borie-Manoux house of traders. The official Batailley webpage is here: http://www.batailley.com/

The group Borie-Manoux properties is here: http://www.borie-manoux.com/nos-vins/nos-proprietes.html

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One of the oldest and most justly renowned in Saint-Emilion.  The central pavilion inspired by the Trianon, the old mill, its splendid view of the vineyard. The Joseph Janoueix family, owners of Château Haut-Sarpe, is one of the great houses of the Libournais. Laid out on the coast and on the edge of the limestone plateau, this vineyard is one of the oldest and one of the most justly famous in Saint-Emilion. A grand style building, the central pavilion is inspired by the Trianon. Of course not on the Médoc area but one of my favorite out of it. In 1867 at the Paris exhibition, the owner of Sarpe was included on the list of 36 Saint-Emilion wines which obtained the gold medal. The official webpage: http://www.haut-sarpe.com/

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The Château Beychevelle is a 250 ha wine estate including 90 ha of vines, located in Saint-Julien-Beychevelle in the Gironde. Located in the AOC Saint-Julien, it is classified fourth grand cru in the 1855 classification. The first castle was built in 1565 .The castle was rebuilt in 1757 by the Marquis de Brassier de Brudot, the new owner of the property. The family of Brassier, baron of Beychevelle, will give its first letters of marque to the wine of Beychevelle during the 18C. The the banker Armand Heine gave it to his daughter, Marie-Louise, who will marry Achille Fould.  It is then that the dynasty of the Achille family – Fould from 1890, and over three generations with in particular Aymar Achille-Fould, will be at the origin of Beychevelle’s prestige. In 1986, on the latter’s death, the GMF and Suntory bought the entire estate from the Achille-Fould family .Recently restored to its original classicism, Beychevelle is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful castles and parks in Bordeaux. The current owner of the castle is the Castel Group at 50% in partnership with the Japanese group Suntory. The official webpage is here: https://beychevelle.com/

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The Château de Malle, located in Preignac in Gironde, is a wine-growing estate in the AOC Sauternes region, classified as a second grand cru in the official Bordeaux wine classification of 1855. Château de Malle is a 17C residence. The entrance is through a gate and the main courtyard, decorated with pilasters is surrounded by the house and the two wings in return terminated by towers. Its Italian-style gardens formed by terraces adorned with ponds, adorned with statues and nymphaeums. Anothere one out of Médoc but if you know Sauternes! Enjoy it; official webpage: http://www.chateaudemalle.fr/

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The Château Giscours is a 300-hectare Médoc-Gironde wine-growing estate located in Labarde, near Margaux, for which it has the AOC.  This Margaux wine is classified third grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855.  The origins of the estate date back to the 14C, but the recognition of the vineyard by deed of sale dates from 1552. During the French Revolution, the property, emigrated and the castle was sold as national property. The modern property is truly created by Marc Promis, who particularly enlarged the domain to nearly 200 hectares, including 50 in vines, built the current castle, consisting of the imposing residence, stables, presses, cellars and vats. It was in 1847 that Jean-Pierre Pescatore, a great Parisian banker, profoundly modified the estate by rebuilding the current castle and the agricultural buildings. In 1875, Edouard Cruse, the new owner, had the park landscaped and had a farm built. model called “Ferme Suzanne” in honor of his wife, born Suzanne Baour. The Château Giscours is a 19C castle offering guest house accommodation with free WiFi, wine tastings and wine cellars visits.  The rooms situated in the former horse stables near the chateau have views of the vineyards, air conditioning, and a private bathroom with bath or shower, toilet and hairdryer. More on the official webpage: http://chateau-giscours.com/

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The Château Prieuré-Lichine, formerly Château Prieuré-Cantenac, is a wine estate located in Cantenac in Gironde. In AOC margaux, it is classified fourth grand cru in the official classification of Bordeaux wines of 1855. Former priory, the estate was created in the 15C by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Vertheuil. Confiscated and put up for sale during the French revolution, the Château Prieuré-Cantenac passed into the hands of many families before being bought in 1951 by Alexis Lichine, who renamed the estate two years later. Alexis Lichine, of American-Russian origin, is known to be the author of the Encyclopedia of Wines and Spirits. He endowed his wine with new terroirs, modernized the existing facilities and renovated the estate. When he died in 1989, his son took over the estate until 1999, when the Ballande family took over. More info here: https://www.prieure-lichine.fr/

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And now you see a bit more of my tastes, not bad at all. These have been tamed over the years and now more choosy on what I drink. Of course, these are not the only ones, the wine world is vast. I do like to search new finds and great tasting and more affordable wines in my belle France and even into my beloved Spain. Hope you enjoy the post and do try the wines! In vino veritas!!!

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

September 9, 2020

Campénéac and Trécesson!

And here I am in my road warrior mode going all over my beautiful department 56 of Morbihan in my lovely Bretagne and my belle France. I was able to have a couple days and amongst other things decided to drive out towards Rennes with the boys. We reach Campénéac and its Castle of Trécesson.

Let me give you a bit of history I like first , promise one time only

Campénéac is located 9 km from Ploërmel , approximately between Vannes and Rennes, not far from the Brocéliande forest. Here the old language is Gallo, a Romance language (unlike Breton which is a Celtic language), spoken in Haute-Bretagne (Upper Brittany).

Campénéac is a Gallo-Roman fundus and can therefore be considered as a primitive parish. It is cited as a parish from the 9C. The town is the birthplace of Armelle Nicolas known as the good Armelle, a servant whose piety, charity and mystical ecstasies aroused a cult that lasted in Brittany until at least the beginning of the 20C. The skull of the good Armelle is kept as a relic in the sacristy of the Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin of Campénéac with the rest of the body kept at the bishopric of Vannes.

For info, other things to see here and will have plenty in my hands are the Chapel of Saint John ;Château de La Touche-Larcher , and Mound of Tiot ,a tumulus burial stone.

And now the main feature of the day lol!

The Château de Trécesson, which has retained its medieval appearance, is one of the most impressive castles in Brittany. Its towering reddish shale walls are reflected in the waters of the surrounding pond. A bridge that spans the moat accesses the castle. The entrance is commanded by a large châtelet flanked by two narrow corbelled towers joined by an old machicolated gallery. On the right a long, almost blind facade, topped by a slate roof with long sides, ends in a hexagonal corner tower. Around the trapezoidal interior courtyard we find on the right a main building of more recent construction, undoubtedly at the end of the 18C, and on the left are domestic buildings and a small seigneurial chapel.

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The Château de Trécesson is already mentioned as the residence of the lords of Ploërmel and Campénéac, from the 8C, it is more likely that the castle, in its current state, dates from the end of the 14C or the beginning of the 15C. Jean de Trécesson ,chamberlain of the Duke Jean IV of Brittany would have built it. The Prunelé family still lives in the castle. This castle is private, no admission you can only see the exterior, but worth the view!

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Several legends are linked to the castle. The best known is that of the white lady, but there is also that of the Headless Curé, a ghost who would prowl in the meadows around the castle near the Calvary which borders the road D312, that of the Phantom Players’ and that of the Manoir du Pied d’ânes . During the reign of terror, in June 1793, the Girondin deputy Jacques Defermon   who signed a protest against the exclusion of the Girondins was forced to flee and took refuge in the castle. He remained in hiding there for over a year.

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The city of Campénéac on heritage in French: http://www.campeneac.fr/fr/information/80802/destination-broceliande

The tourist office of Broceliande on the castle in French: https://www.broceliande-vacances.com/offres/chateau-de-trecesson-campeneac-fr-2279516/

And there you go a nice ride on the road D312 into this castle was worth it me think. One of the gems of Bretagne and the Morbihan, if only they can open a bit of it…! Hope you enjoy the story and photos of the Castle at Trécesson in Campénéac.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 9, 2020

Campénéac and a church!!!

Ah yes on my road warrior roads you stop see listen admire, many wonderful things to see in my beautiful Morbihan ,in my lovely Bretagne, and my belle France. Every trip there is something new or even renew as in this case.

I have written before on this church and came back for in depth look, with new text and photos. Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin  in Campénéac!!!

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Let me say it now, this is one church easy to get to and worth the detour for its monumental beauty in architecture and history. 

The Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin or église de la Nativité-de-la-Très-Sainte-Vierge .The present church was rebuilt from 1851 to 1860 at the site of the old church. The parish church is dedicated to the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin. The church, which has survived to this day, was a mixture of Romanesque architecture and ogival architecture; the plan was in the form of a Latin cross, with two aisles, and a square tower on the inter transept; in the choir you see semicircular arcades, and elsewhere ogival windows with flaming mullions.

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The western porch, the pillars and arches of the primitive Church, as well as some carved stones were reused. The Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin has three bays, separated by cylindrical columns in granite. The oak pulpit of the second half of the 19C is 7 meters high. The tank of the pulpit has the particularity of being supported by a kneeling demon. A statue of the Archangel Michael terracing the dragon dominates it. The lampshade supports four Angels symbolizing the four evangelists. Another peculiarity is that a double staircase makes the access to the pulpit. The Church has an exhibition of the Holy Face dating from the second half of the 19C. High of 2.60 meters, it is turned wood, carved, and polychrome. The Holy Face is exposed to the center ; it is surrounded by the instruments of the Passion. At the top, the thorn wreath, right the pincers and hammer, down the nails and left the whip.

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On the choir side, two chapels open to the north and south through pointed arch arcades. Of the five original bays lined with granite, three remain: two in the nave, on either side of the south porch, and one in the north chapel.
The sacristy was built during the first half of the 17C, probably around 1645-1650. The bell tower, originally located at the crossing of the transept, was destroyed by lightning in 1871 and replaced in 1874 by a porch bell tower. The chapel of the fonts was built in 1895-1896. It is well made really.

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The city of Campénéac on heritage in French,need to go to le patrimoine de Campénéac  pdf file and on page 34 there is a bit more on the church. http://www.campeneac.fr/fr/information/80524/porte-entree-broceliande

I say for the beauty of this church not enough info is available online unless you go in person and take a brochure at the church. Pity, they should provide more online for all to enjoy this beauty. The Church of the Nativity-of-the-Most-Holy Virgin  is worth the detour indeed.Hope you enjoy the post as we did. We say fairwell to Campénéac for now, we will be back!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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