Archive for November 15th, 2021

November 15, 2021


And on our continuing saga of my road warrior campaigns in my belle France, I bring you again to the wonderful historically and architecturally stunning Centre Val de Loire region. We went for wine but got a lot more of nice places finally the chance to see them amongst the many unlimited choices we are lucky to have in France. We arrive at Bourgueil!!!

The town of Bourgueil is located in the Indre-et-Loire department 37 in the Centre-Val de Loire region. It is located in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional natural park. The town is located in the Touraine Angevine, formerly the province of Anjou. We arrive here by car of course following the road from St Nicolas de Bourgueil (see post), the D35 road.

Bourgueil city hall and justice palace front side nov21

A bit of history I like

The region of Bourgueil including the domain of the castle of Gizeux and up to Château-la-Vallière was attached in 1790 to the brand new department of Indre-et-Loire under the French revolution, About thirty deputies from the three provinces constituting the generality of Tours: Anjou, Maine and Touraine plan to return territories to Poitou and to subdivide the remaining domain into four departments, around the traditional capitals, Tours, Angers and Le Mans, and around the city of Laval, which would reclaim land from Maine and Anjou. On November 12, 1789, the representatives of Saumur dissociated themselves from this decision. The Saumurois plead in favor of a department of Saumur located at the crossroads of the three provinces of Anjou, Touraine and Poitou, with Loudun for the sharing of powers, Discontent was growing, the population of Bourgueil was demonstrating for its maintenance in Anjou and joins forces with Saumur. On January 14, 1790, the Constituent Assembly of 1789 decreed that “Saumur and the Saumurois will be part of the department of Anjou”. The Constituent Assembly ratifies this structure on June 22, 1790 and the King on June 25, 1790. The Bourgueil region is detached from Saumur and separated from Anjou, to integrate the brand new department of Indre-et-Loire.

Bourgueil is at the heart of the Touraine vineyard on the slopes of the Loire Valley, producing famous red wines which were celebrated by Ronsard, by Rabelais and by Honoré de Balzac in Maître Cornélius, (1831) where Louis XI asks “that we bring him good Bourgueil wine served at the table”. The Bourgueil is a wine with a controlled designation of origin (AOC) since 1937 produced around appellation vineyard covers 7 towns : Restigné, Benais, Ingrandes-de-Touraine, Saint- Patrice, Chouzé-sur-Loire, La Chapelle-sur-Loire and Bourgueil. It was in the 4C that the vines spread under the impetus of Saint Martin and his disciples. When Henri II, Count of Anjou, acceded to the throne of England in 1154, the Angevin vineyard experienced a real boom. The wines of Bourgueil are vinified from the Cabernet franc grape (locally called Breton). Cabernet-Sauvignon can also be used within the limit of 10%. My favorite wines here are from the Domaine Yannick Amirault.

The wines of Bourgueil

And so much wine around us made us hungry and thirsty so the time was right to have lunch in Bourgueil. Mind you this was a Sunday in France,,,,, Even then the first choice was booked full !! so we settle by chance to the Pause Coffee Saveurs Terre bar cafe 12 Rue de Tours. As by chance, we hit it right, super friendly folks talkative we like,  came both owners to the table. We had the typical cafe lunch of steak and fries with a bottle of Benoit Thibault Cuvée Bastien 2019 red Bourgueil of course ! Dessert were panacotta and berries, and a expresso coffee all for 21€ per person, nice, We left continue talking and the meal was correct , nice company we like to be back here for the ambiance, Very helpful with my Dad in wheelchair and our dog Rex !!

Bourgueil Pause Coffee Saveurs Terre front nov21

Bourgueil Pause Coffee Saveurs Terre wine racks to bar nov21

Bourgueil Pause Coffee Saveurs Terre benoit thibault cuvee bastien wine nov21

There are things to see in Bourgueil other than the wineries are the abbey and the church.

The abbey Saint-Pierre de Bourgueil was an important Benedictine abbey, founded in 990 by Emma, ​​countess of Blois, daughter of Thibaud Ier le tricheur or the cheater, count of Blois, In 1156, Henri II Plantagenêt held the Estates General of his provinces there. . In 1208, Pope Innocent III took the abbey under his direct protection. This abbey was once one of the richest in Anjou. This imposing ensemble is famous for its vast gardens sung by Ronsard. The Bourgueil abbey was ruined during the French revolution. In 1801 ,many of the stones were used to build houses in Bourgueil.

Bourgueil Abbaye St Pierre afar nov21

1782 sees the advent of the last abbot of Bourgueil, César-Guillaume de la Luzerne. The times are changing. On the rights of use, a lawsuit opposes the inhabitants of the town to various owners, among others the abbey of Bourgueil from 1781 to 1786. In 1791, he refuses to take the oath to the Civil Constitution of the clergy (revolutionary) and goes into exile in Switzerland, Austria, then to Venice.

Bourgueil Abbaye St Pierre entr cinema visits nov21

Bourgueil Abbaye St Pierre garden nov21

Today, the Abbey Association, thanks to voluntary work, helps to restore and animate the abbey. It offers an annual fair, the sale of handicrafts, the cinema … It is also possible to visit the various monuments as well as the museum. Within the abbey, three groups of buildings still remain: – To the north, the 18C outbuildings and the Tithes barn, To the south, the old 17C castle, currently a religious community ;live and work by the Sisters of Saint- Martin, and the 13C cellar buildings. The church no longer has a steeple.

Bourgueil Abbaye St Pierre front nov21

The characteristic feature of the Church Saint-Germain is that it has a Romanesque nave contrasting with a Gothic choir. The choir was rebuilt in the 13C in the Plantagenêt style. The front door was renovated in the 12C. It is a rectangle whose vaults rest on four monolithic columns. The keystones are decorated with bas-relief and painting. The old 11C nave was rebuilt in 1888. However, the church was recorded as early as 1002 by a papal bull of Pope Sylvester III. 

Bourgueil ch st germain front nov21

Bourgueil ch St Germain altar pulpit nov21

This is a nice church that should be seen more, it is nicely renovated inside and wonderful showcasing of its altars left and right and the main central altar. It has 3 naves and 3 spans ,the keystones of the arches shows figures from the Bible. The belltower is flanked by a clock tower with inside staircase crown by a fish steeple. This steeple was flatten in 1854. 

Bourgueil ch St Germain altar left nov21

Bourgueil ch St Germain altar right nov21

The city of Bourgueil on its heritage

There you go folks, a dandy little town that we enjoy getting to know it as a new dot in my world map. Passing by several times and finally saw it in person, Bourgueil is a nice town and worth the detour, very good wines price/quality ratio here! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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November 15, 2021

Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil !!

Ok so I am on my road warrior ways again, and all odds of travel restrictions,mask obligatory, health pass according to yours or theirs beliefs… I was invited to an open house of one of our favorite wine houses in the wonderful wine town of St Nicolas de Bourgueil. Therefore we could not refuse!!! We even went further see my soon to be future posts! 

A few years back while attending our now favorite salon de la gastronomie et vins in Vannes, we met a couple owners of EARL Cousseau-Boireau from La Rodaie neighborhood of St Nicolas de Bourgueil. It has been an ever increasing good relationship. They have even delivered themselves to our house!!! And this time it was our turn to pay a visit to their winery family business.

St Nicolas de Bourgueil Cousseau Boireau La Rodaie vignerons nov21

And family business it is, they have the son and daughter all helping out in different functions. We finally met them too and rather nice simple pleasant talkative French folks! It was indeed a pleasure and the reason for this post as they deserve more notoriety. The open house was Saturday and Sunday Nov 13-14 2021. We pick Saturday to give us time to see other things in the area. Saturday the event was from 9h30 to 19h, and we were there since 10h30 to 13h30.

St Nicolas de Bourgueil Cousseau Boireau vignobles entr nov21

In the open house, they have invited some of their friends to make it an all around gastronomic event! We got introduce to Le Canard Roi direct from the farm of  114 Montquartier, Vivy (49680) no web, and got our block of foie gras and magret de canard in slices by able men Pascal! We go introduce finally! to folks we have not met at the Vannes event even if they go but finally here Champagne Lagille & Fils, Treslou (51) the owners themselves Bernard and Marie Lagille! And they will all be at Vannes November 27-28 for the next gastronomic event!! See you!!! More info in Hachette guide:

Finally, one that will not be but we sure will look out for it is the wonderful red Chinon Vignobles du Pressoir, Daguet family and able Julien where we got our Tradition fruity red grenat pleasant in the mouth , and the older Vielle Vignes more structure and ready for some meats! They are at Le Pressoir, Panzoult 37220. info webpage:

And of course our reason to be there the Cousseau-Boireau vinyards . Heck, here we tried them all again. Starting with our favorite Tradition 2020 vintage, nice again and great price/quality ratio. Continue with the cuvée Kermélise 2020, 6 mos ageing old vines and the cuvée Margaux 2018 2 years ageing of old vines our first try. All for a great time of interaction with the owners family and wines, just my best picture of my belle France. In all this in marvelous Loire valley!! And here in English from the town of St Nicolas de Bourgueil the owners themselves in picture!

St Nicolas de Bourgueil Cousseau Boireau jug sales wines nov21

St Nicolas de Bourgueil Cousseau Boireau open house nov21

St Nicolas de Bourgueil Cousseau Boireau vineyards nov21

I have to add the prices here are the best , cannot find in any store , and can only be match if live in deliverable addresses in France. The way we like to meet winegrowers up close and personal over the years! Hope you enjoy the post of my culinary road warrior trips, several others in my blog….

Located in the heart of the Touraine vineyard, the town of Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil is a major center of Loire viticulture. The most famous wines are obviously Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil (AOC) and Bourgueil (AOC) which exist in red and rosé and with Cabernet Franc, However, other wines can be produced there such as: Touraine, Crémant de Loire, IGP Val de Loire and Rosé de Loire. Other wines we have tried from this area of St Nicolas de Bourgueil and very good too are Domaine de la Cotellaraie, and Domaine Yannick Amirault.

St Nicolas de Bourgueil la cotelleraie wines nov21

I like to end backward from my usual writing by telling you a bit about the history of the town, always I like!  Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil is located in the department 37 of Indre et Loire in the Centre Val de Loire region. Under the Ancien Régime (monarchy), the parish was part of the senechaussee of Saumur and the province of Anjou. In 1790, during the French revolution, the population demonstrated with those of Bourgueil for the maintenance of their village in the administrative jurisdiction of Saumur. The Constituent Assembly decided otherwise and the western part of Saumur (from Bourgueil to Gizeux) was detached from historic Anjou and attached to the brand new department of Indre-et-Loire, as well as the territory of Château-la-Vallière. also detached from Anjou. In 1790-1794, Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil annexed the village of Taille. The current town of Saint-Nicolas was built in the center of the town under the July Monarchy.

The town of St Nicolas de Bourgueil is all about Loire wines:

The wines of the Loire Valley on St Nicolas de Bourgueil:

And the EARL Cousseau-Boireau is not over yet, they are preparing a gîte a country house to host guests as an apartment, this will look forward to because it is a great central area to stay and roam the back roads of the Loire Valley, the valley of the kings!!

St Nicolas de Bourgueil Cousseau Boireau gite side nov21

There you go folks, a dandy bottle , wonderful country folks who love their work, and gorgeous architecture and huge history all over. This is Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil and surroundings. Hope you enjoy the post and do try the wine, good value price/quality ratio from my France to your table.

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

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