Thouaré sur Loire has its charms!!!

Indeed several years back when  moved to my current area of Morbihan 56 we went to a wine tasting event in Guérande in the neighboring area of Loire-Atlantique 44. We met some winegrowers who were very talkative! and friendly! with good wines! and decided to visit on their property. As the old movie said, this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship! I do not tell you every time but this time we were back after the pandemic and it was sublime as always. This is the additional story of the town of Thouaré sur Loire!

We have been several time here and some of the visits and monuments are recorded in my blog. However, this time we went for a special wine tasting event at Vignobles Marchais but before we took a ride into the castles in the area.  Thouaré-sur-Loire is located in the Loire-Atlantique department 44, in the Pays de la Loire region ; on the north bank of the Loire river, and 10 km from Nantes. I have written plenty on the town and its monuments so will get down to two properties just passed by in the past as my primary reason to be there is the wines, however…They have nearby two wonderful castles (I love castles!!) not open to the general public but I took a peek and translated their webpages a bit on them.

The Château de Thouaré in its current configuration dates from the 14C. It is located in a large green park, with hundred-year-old trees, it is built in two wings, with a Renaissance lantern tower, the facade is made up of elements from various eras including battlements dating from the Middle Ages. Outbuildings and stables are also adjacent. The moats date from the 10C. The windows are double mullioned and date from the second half of the 19C. The stone and tufa dovecote, dates from the 15C, its slate dome is topped with a sculpture representing a pigeon, it has 1189 niches, once a symbol of the power of the Lords of the place.

thouare sur loire

Anecdote: From January 24, 1564 to May 1, 1566, King Charles IX undertook a grand tour of France. During this trip, on October 11, 1565, the king made a stopover at the Château of Thouaré, hosted by Charles de Bretagne d’Avaugour and his wife Phillipe de Saint-Amadour for dinner. The king then goes to Nantes, to the Château des Ducs de Bretagne (see post), where he will stay for three days.

thouare sur loire chat thouare garden jun21

The official webpage of the Château de Thouaré

The Château de Beau-Soleil we see today is from the 20C. This is the residence of de La Blanche, Bailly-Peltier and Charbonneau de Courty. The building replaces an old 18C mansion. It was in 1895 that it all began for Château Beausoleil. Alfred Gerbaud and Anastasie Descourty complete its construction on the foundations of an old house dating from the 17C. They create a billiard room and a bedroom which today has become the Chinese living room, a bedroom and a bathroom. It was finally Jean Vichatzky (Serbian origins came here after WWI) who inherited Château Beausoleil with his wife Antoinette in the late 1960s. They had three daughters, Sophie, Agnès and Valérie, just before settling there permanently. It was in 2014 that the late Jean passed away, and it was then that the future of Château Beausoleil in Thouaré sur Loire arose.  The 3 sisters attached to this house did not want to part with it. They then decided to undertake a vast renovation project in 2015. A project that Agnes and Valérie began in earnest in 2018 and will finish in 2021.  The Château Beau-Soleil is surrounded by 4 hectares where horses gallop and thrive on a daily basis. After 3 years of renovation, Château Beau-Soleil has offered itself a new roof, upgrading all networks, painting work, a well-thought-out space design, not to mention re-furnishing and the construction of an outdoor swimming pool. In short, everything to welcome you in an idyllic setting! The numerous exterior outbuildings are reminiscent of the history of Beausoleil. Greenhouses, a press, a workshop, a water tower and a farm create a real atmosphere.

thouare sur loire

The official webpage of Château Beau-Soleil

And we finally came to the wine!! The above was a nice way to spent the whole day here and see some wonderful architecture and history of the area. The Vignobles Marchais (vineyards) is 27 ha of vines 3 terroirs 15 cuvées and a team of 10 persons. The terroirs or plantation of grapes are located in Thouaré sur Loire(main house where we go and open to the public), Le Loroux-Bottereau , and Mauves sur Loire.

thouare sur loire vig marchais cave front boutique jun21

thouare sur loire vig marchais welcome tastings jun21

Some of the activities are a beach hut as a bar, a bucolic setting on the banks of the Loire, live up your evenings, and food trucks to satisfy your appetites, this is the program offered by Mauves Balnéaire. Initiated by Le Voyage à Nantes and organized by the City/Town Hall of Mauves-sur-Loire, this place offers a bucolic setting, like a vacation on the edge of our beloved Loire river. Dinner in the Vines! Will be on Friday July 23 and Thursday August 26 2021 (we are shooting to be at one or both). The evening begins at 19h30, and   let yourself be told the story of Vignoble Marchais with Philippe Marchais, the winemaker of the place. Then take a seat in the middle of the rows of pinot gris and let yourself be guided for a dinner with food and wine by candlelight in the middle of the vines. And just were there today is the Let’s Taste Together! Saturday June 26 from 10h to 19h(we were here from 13h25 to 17h or 1:25 pm to 5 pm). It’s Spring, the vines are slowly waking up, the wines are getting impatient in the vats and the team was eager to see us again ..and we them. The Marchais Vineyard has created its new annual meeting Let’s Taste Together!

thouare sur loire vig marchais tastings upper deck jun21

thouare sur loire vig marchais menu tastings jun21

The official webpage of Vignobles Marchais

The vineyards of Nantes on the Vignoble Marchais

The Independent winegrowers/makers on vignoble Marchais

And last on our way back home we needed to eat as who would go to the kitchen late! So we stopped at an old favorite chain not tried in while and was superbe! This was the Courtepaille resto of Carquefou on the D723 road.

carquefou courtepaille resto front jun21

Born in 1961 in Burgundy this chain of restaurants Courtepaille has survived them all. Today they are about 300 all over France. The recipe, good affordtable food and friendly service. We came to this one with my family and my elderly father (86) and were treated with kindness and patient.I was impressed and will surely be back here. This outlet is in Carquefou on the road D723 on the traffic circle of the Belle Etoile (or beautiful star) This is very close to the highway A11 (Le Mans Paris etc) and the D723 (route de Paris) takes you to Nantes at about 12 km away. We had rumsteaks with fries , coffee gourmand with little sweets, glasses of local Loire red wine, and before as apéro i had my Martini Red. All for 25 euros per person, nice.

The Courtepaille official webpage on the property in Carquefou

There you go folks, anothe wonderful ride in my belle France! A full day of fun with my boys and Dad who kept up well! This is deep country Loire and already a wonderful Thouaré sur Loire for us. Hope you enjoy the post and do come on over the off the beaten path ways of my old Bretagne, Loire Atlantique dept 44.

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

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