Archive for October 7th, 2022

October 7, 2022

The Château Monbazillac !!

Again, a wine castle, we love it!  This one is particularly memorable because it was the Monbazillac white sweet wine my dear late wife Martine love,and introduce me to it. Memories forever and this is the Château Monbazillac! I found an old pic from a paper pic so the quality but for me its the memories that counts. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Château Monbazillac is located in the town of Monbazillac, in the Dordogne department 24, of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of my belle France. In 1960, the château was purchased by the Monbazillac cooperative cellar, which markets wine from its 25 hectares of vines surrounding the château. The castle becomes a museum.

Around 1550, the castle was built in one go by Charles d’Aydie on a very simple plan: a rectangle confined to the corners of four large circular towers. Access is via a fixed bridge with two arches. The Huguenot Louis de Bouchard d’Aubeterre bought the castle in 1607, which in 1666 became the property of Pierre Barraud. In 1685 the Edict of Fontainebleau was signed, the Edict of Nantes was revoked. The widow of Pierre Barraud abjures Protestantism to become a Catholic.  In 1777, François Hilaire de Bacalan bought the castle. In 1790, he became mayor of Monbazillac and abandoned his particle, probably due to this action, the castle survived the French revolution without damage.

The Château Monbazillac, owned by the Monbazillac Cooperative cellar since 1960, presents a unique and original architecture, a mixture of medieval defensive systems and Renaissance elegance. Planted in the heart of the prestigious vineyard that bears its name, the view from the terraces of the park offers an extraordinary panorama over the Dordogne valley. Fully furnished, the Château is open all year round for free or guided tours. At the end of the visit to the Château, a tasting of Monbazillac is offered to each visitor. This emblematic Bergerac castle has remained imperturbable since the end of the 16C, when the quality of its wines was notorious well beyond the borders of Aquitaine.

Monbazillac chateau de montbazillac front et vineyards

Monbazillac is a sweet wine produced south of the Bergerac vineyard, on steep hillsides facing north, on the left bank of the Dordogne, near the village of Monbazillac. It has a AOC ,controlled designation of origin. The main grape varieties are Muscadelle Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, and Semillon Blanc. They can be planted with Chenin Blanc, Ondenc Blanc or Ugni Blanc. They are however limited to 10% of the grape varieties .Monbazillac must be matured for several months. The marketability date is May 15 of the year following the year of harvest. For wines from selection of noble grains, the date is brought to June 1st following the second year following the harvest. Wine of aperitif, it goes well with appetizers with cheese or foie gras. For dessert, it is more to its advantage with creams and cooked fruits than with chocolate. We love as apéritif or with sweets,sublime !

The official Château Monbazillac

There you go folks, a sublime wine on a beautiful old area of my belle France! This is deep Dordogne and Monbazillac is one of its courts!  Hope you enjoy the post and do taste the wonderful Monbazillac! I will keep drinking it in honor of my dear late wife Martine! En vino veritas!

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

October 7, 2022

The Château de Malle in Sauternes !

I need to write a post on this. If you notice , I seldom write about an individual property in wine world. However, this one merits a post of its own for the goodness of its wines, and the wonderful history/architecture of it, and the family. I came here many years ago, and found me some pictures to share. Needless, to tell you, we drink their wines, sublimes! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Oh yes will be writing telling you about the Château de Malle is located in Preignac in Gironde dept 33, 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 garden , is formed by terraces adorned with ponds, with statues and nymphaeums. Let’s move on shal we….


The Château de Malle was built in the 17C by Jacques de Malle, President of the Parliament of Bordeaux, it quickly imposed and inspired respect thanks to this admirable setting. You can stroll through its 6 ha of Florentine-inspired terraced gardens with delicate statues. Have fun recognizing Cupid here, Venus there and her lover Adonis. Bacchus is not far either, as evidenced by these sculptures inspired by the work of the vine and wine, or even the effects of drunkenness… To the east of the first terrace, well-known characters from the commedia dell’ arte, Pantalon, Scaramouche or Arlequin, invite you to a small Italian-style theater built of freestone. It has been inhabited by the same family since its construction in the 17C, the Jacques de Malle. It was largely embellished by the Count of Lur-Saluces who entered the family by marrying Jeanne de Malle in 1702.

Preignac chateau de Malle front

The whole of Château de Malle is 50 hectares,of one owner with vines and forest. It is located on three villages ,Preignac (main), Fargues and Toulenne, and is situated on two prestigious AOCs: Sauternes and Graves. The estate’s production is essentially dedicated to Sauternes. However Malle also vinifies a dry white wine called M de Malle made from Sémillon and Sauvignon. It also produces a red wine with a grave appellation called Château Cardaillan. The vineyard, in one piece over three towns, straddles the Sauternes and Graves appellations. The Sauternes part, spread over the towns of Preignac and Fargues Second cru classified in 1855, It later purchase the Château Pessan in red wines .

Preignac chateau de Malle grand salon

The gardens extend over 6 hectares on the model of Florentine parks. If Versailles and the royal gardens were undoubtedly a source of inspiration, the Italian influence was preponderant. built between 1717 and 1724. The exact arrangement of the parterres, statues and vases has come down to us thanks to the 18C plan kept at the castle. This survey indicates the presence of an orchard, a vegetable garden and a labyrinth, which have now disappeared. The silhouettes dating from the 17C in cut wood, painted in “trompe-l’oeil” present in the hall of the Castle certainly served as motionless figurations for the comedy scenes played in the pretty theater in the past. A small staircase to the right of the theater leads to the second terrace where the four elements are represented: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. At the end of the wings of the building spring two round towers topped with imperial slate domes. One of the two houses the chapel and paintings retracing the life of the Virgin.

The official Château de Malle

There you go folks, a wonderful property, full of family history, great architecture, gardens and super wines! This is the Château de Malle, en vino veritas! Enjoy it as I

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

October 7, 2022

The Galerie des Grands Hommes of Bordeaux !

As said, we like Bordeaux and have come often although not lately. We always go there by car and find easy parking; once not knowing the building we found parking at the Galerie des Grands Hommes of Bordeaux. Wonderful and central, not realising , however, that it is a nice mall or commercial center. As changes are coming, let me bring this out here with a new old found pic from a paper pic in my vault. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

First thing first, you get to it from Paris, via Pont François Mitterrand or Toulouse-Bayonne: Exit 21, follow “Bordeaux Centre”, then the quays (river). Pass the Place de la Bourse, then take the 1st traffic light on the left towards “Parking Les Grands Hommes”. Follow the directions for “Parking Les Grands Hommes”, and you will be there nice and easy.

The shopping arcade of the emblematic Grands Hommes shopping center, in the heart of Bordeaux’s Golden Triangle, has just come under the control of the property company Selectirente. It is bounded by the cours de l’Intendance, Clémenceau and les allées de Tourny, the Grands Hommes shopping center, which gives pride of place to large bay windows and an elegant facade, comprises a ground floor, a first floor, and a level minus one, not to mention a large underground car park. This elegant building, located on the round square Place des Grands Hommes, was opened in 1991, replacing the previous reinforced concrete covered market, which was completely demolished. This new Grands Hommes shopping center was inaugurated in 1992 by one of the most eminent women on the planet: Queen Elizabeth II, disembarked to the applause of the Bordeaux crowd from her royal yacht Britannia, anchored with all her crew of the Royal Navy near Place de la Bourse. Royal visit as evidenced by a plaque screwed to level minus one of the shopping center of 3,000 m2.

Bordeaux galerie des grands hommes entr

After deliberation of many ,it’s not going to be a hotel, nor offices, but one of the most stylish nightclubs in Europe. At the entrance, on the first floor, Bordeaux residents will fall directly opposite the nightclub. Since the establishment is in a circle, the counter will go all the way around the walls. To help yourself to a drink, you no longer have to cross the entire dance floor. The musical program will be very varied.  On the ground floor, a 100m² swimming pool will occupy the center of the room. To be able to believe you are at the beach for an evening, a bar and an indoor terrace in the style of a guinguette will run along the swimming pool. Deckchairs will also be made available for those who want to relax with the music The roof of the Gallery will be demolished to make a giant circular terrace offering a breathtaking view of the city of Bordeaux. In the center there will be a huge cocktail bar with more than 30 different proposals. All beverages will be one-of-a-kind compositions with international products. And for those who are a bit peckish, it will be possible to taste delicious tapas. The gallery car parks will be kept so that people coming from afar can park.

Oh well, at least they are keeping the parking, hopefully parking still will be available even with this new establishment or sadly will make it only for patrons. Time will tell and will look forward to be back, eventually.

The official Galerie des Grands Hommes as of today

The Bordeaux tourist office on the neighborhood

The Gironde dept 33 tourist office on Bordeaux

There you go folks,another dandy emblematic spot in pretty Bordeaux. The location of the Galerie des Grands Hommes was perfect, hope it will continue. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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