Archive for December 21st, 2022

December 21, 2022

More on the Domaine Poiron-Dabin !!!

I have some personal pictures that left out of previous posts but now decided to put them in my blog, just for the memories ‘s sake, The town is call Château Thebaud and are in the Loire Atlantique dept 44 now part of the Pays de la Loire region but historically part of Bretagne/Brittany (Breizh in Breton language). It is sort of like the Breton wine area ! And we go often and do get our house wines from there. As said, I have written a couple of posts on these outings , hope the new older personal pictures you enjoy reading as I.

chat thebaud poiron dabin pinot gris aug18

chat thebaud poiron dabin remi with bag of wines drank in rando aug18

One of our fav properties in town is the Domaine Poiron-Dabin. They are only 15 km from Nantes , and about 165 km from our house, The town located on the banks of the Maine river, Château Thebaud lends itself to nautical activities, its banks for climbing and hiking as well, They are at the place or Lieu dit Chantegrolle, Château-Thébaud right off the road D58 coming from Vertou and further Nantes. We come here for tasting and field tasting between the vineyards ! They have a game or at least we were in it, where you go into the vineyards to find hidden bottles and taste them on the spot ! Great !!

chat thebaud poiron dabin lunch basket at rando aug18

The Domaine Poiron Dabin is a story that dates back to 1858… A family estate, today they are 2 brothers at the head of the 69 ha farm. They produce Muscadets and IGPs from the Loire Valley: Pinot noir, Côt, Pinot gris, Sauvignon Fié gris… and Berligou! A historic Breton variety from the 15C, they have revived this variety after 24 years of work. They work with respect for the soil and our employees, plowing and not using carcinogenic/mutagenic (CMR) products. We are certified Terra Vitis and High Environmental Value level III.

chat thebaud poiron dabin PF et RF tasting wines jun20

chat thebaud poiron dabin rando remi pedro xavier grapes aug18

Things to do with the Domaine Poiron-Dabin : On a beautiful day, departing from the St-Félix basin in Nantes or the Chaussée des Moines de Vertou, a peaceful gourmet stroll awaits you. With La Toue De Nantes, make yourself comfortable and the Libellule casts off the moorings. A bucolic navigation aboard Libellule, a replica of a traditional toue cabanée, a wandering on the Sèvre then the Maine rivers. The magnificent landscapes, the beautiful residences and the castles will amaze your eyes. A privileged meeting with a passionate winegrower who will make you taste a selection of 10 cuvées carefully chosen one by one to sublimate each bite of your meal prepared by the Auberge de la Gaillotière. Stroll around, glass in hand, looking for our bottles scattered at the foot of the vines corresponding to their grape varieties.  You can stroll in the vineyards and halfway through, a picnic awaits you, before setting off again to explore the grape varieties. At the end of the journey, a meeting with a member of our team is offered to you in the cellar. And they can set up for you La Divatte, walk on the banks of the Loire, commented boat trip. Nantes its historical and cultural heart, All marvelous !

chat thebaud poiron dabin kids rando with berligou rose sparkler aug18

chat thebaud poiron dabin rando kids on pinot gris grapes aug18

chat thebaud poiron dabin pedro remi xavier gwentremener wine aug18

The official Domaine Poiron Dabin :

The vineyards of Nantes on the Domaine Poiron-Dabin

There you go folks, another dandy wine experience in the Loire close to the historical City of Nantes, Hope you enjoy the new post on the Domaine Poiron Dabin in the village of Chantegrolle, part of town of Château Thébaud. En vino veritas !

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

December 21, 2022

The gourmets of Port de Suffren of Paris !!

As I am a foodie guy ,got me some new older pictures to update this older post of a nice event we love to attend while living and working in Versailles/Paris. One of the best advantage of living in France is the gastronomy and wines etc are the best in the world. Yes often imitated but never surpass ,it was the first region by Unesco on World Heritage Immaterial mention on it. Anyway , let me tell you about the Port de Suffren very near the Eiffel tower , and more importantly about an event that has mark my time in Paris since 2008 to 2011, the Saveurs et Vins encounter at the  former Maxim’s peniche boat.

Paris Maxim's PF port suffren mar09

The port de Suffren at the Quai Branly off the pont Bir Hakeim bridge or just coming from the Eiffel tower and go down on your left to the Seine river. This covers parts of the 7éme and 15éme arrondissements or districts and Gros Caillou and Grenelle quartiers or neighborhood respectively of Paris, The name Suffren comes from 1905 that was the avenue found next to it . The port is about 600 meters long from the Pont d’Iéna to the Pont de Bir-Hakeim and is mostly filled with housing peniche boats.

Paris Maxim's mars11

There places to eat here such as the Francette, Gustave, and the péniche du Cercle de la Mer. On the left side of Pont d’Iéna you have the Vedettes de Paris cruise boats and on the right side the Bateaux Parisiens cruise boats and Batobus in the port de Bourbonnais. And you should know this so won’t dwell on them.



The event that took me to find out about this area was the Saveurs et Vins or tastes and wines that was held back for me from 2008 to 2011 at the Maxim’s peniche boat own by Pierre Cardin fame. The best houses came here for you to taste.

Paris maxim's saveurs et vins boat by Seine mars11

I was looking forward every year to the event. When I came to the Morbihan breton it was too far to go just for a day so instead had made friendship with many of the participants and contacted them to go direct to their place to taste and purchase. It has become a family tradition.

The event at the  Maxim’s peniche or boat event call saveurs et vins or tastes and wines event on the Seine river  at the port de Suffren just down the left stairs from crossing the tour Eiffel. It went on for several years until Pierre Cardin sold his boat and the event has continue at the port du Javel Haut in November on the boat River Place. This is now at the Quai André Citroën 15éme arrondissement or district, and quartier de Javel or neighborhood of Paris.


Just for the memories will tell you coming here taking metro Bir Hakeim line 6 or RER C Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel, you go down the stairs by the carrusel side with your back on the Tour Eiffel its your left, walk along the Seine river at the  Port de Suffren for about 100 meters and the boat peniche Maxim’s was there anchored. OF course, we came by car and parked right on the port free for the event.

Many wonderful independant producers came here, and the offering is one of the best in France. Some of my favorites that still attend this event were:

Champagne Philippe Gonet (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger  51 ,south of Epernay): Champagne Philippe Gonet, We go here often but not every year:webpage :

Domaine Dutertre (Amboise-Touraine 37 near Amboise ) : Domaine Dutertre wines, We still in person to their property every year getting to know grandfather, father, and son; webpage :

Souleilles terre de foie gras , (north east of Agen 47 ): We have visited and order online, Webpage :

From our times there but no longer on the schedule were the Chocolats de Beussent-Lachelle (pas de Calais  62 ,but 25 stores nationwide, We have ordered online, webpage:

The official Sauveurs et Vins

There you go folks, a nice memorable gastronomic tour of some of the best of my belle France. You too can come and visit while in Paris and maybe you get hook on some of them as we did and have and still do! The Sauveurs et Vins is friendliness, ambiance, and good food/drinks tops !

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

December 21, 2022

Belmonte, a castle and a story !!!

I am coming back at you with Castilla La Mancha, just a lovely region of my dear Spain.  This is an update of an older post with new text and same older pictures. I finally came with the family and nice memories of my dear late wife Martine, the rest is history. All my family love it and we return couple times more. Let me tell you about Belmonte, a castle and a story !!! Hope you enjoy it as I.


The castle of Belmonte is link to the history of Spain and France and I was very much wanted to show it to my wife. The first time we tried with all the kids wanting to go to Madrid (for shopping!) we arrive late at lunch time and needed to wait too long we continue our journey and me very upset. I told them next time we come in this is a priority, and so we did come in August 2017.  Oh yes it is in the Province of Cuenca as well ! Belmonte ,the city, is located at km 342 of the road N 420 that takes you from Cuenca to Alcazar de San Juan, and the same road can even take you south to Córdoba ,and over east to Tarragona. You need to come by car from Madrid on the A3 direction Valencia , at Tarancon, take the road direction Salices to junction with La Almarcha to take the N420 direction Belmonte.


Of course, a must is the Castle of  Belmonte. Built in the gothic mudéjar style of the 15C where the construction was started in 1456  by ordered of don Juan Pacheco. The exterior was similar to the castles of  Manzanares el Real in Madrid , and Mombeltrán in  Ávila as done by same architect Juan Guas. There is really no certainty of when was finished many dates but the most often said is that of  1474 due to the imminent civil war of 1475-1480.  The castle house the Marquis lord Diego López Pacheco.


By marriage, the castle passes to the family of the House of Montijo and in the 19C is passed on to the Countess of  Teba.  However, was the heiress to the House of Villena,  Eugenia de Guzmán, better known as Imperatrice of the French under Eugénie de Montijo married to Emperor Napoleón III of France. She ordered the castle restored on the exterior and interior such as during her time done with the Patio de Armas, the principal stairs and the chalk chimneys  as well as some of the roof. These works lasted from 1857 to 1870 ,and were ended due to the defeat of the French Second Empire. From 1881 to 1885 the castle is occupied by French dominican brothers that used it as a monastery; after their departure the nephew-grandson of the Imperatrice Eugénie ,the Duke of  Peñaranda, Hernando Fitz-James Stuart y Falcó, continue with the restorations and even came to live in it.  Currently it is the property of the Ducal House of Peñaranda descendants of the Duchess of Alba, María Francisca de Sales Portocarrero, sister of Eugenia de Guzmán, aka Eugenia de Montijo.


After a visit to the Castle there is a presentation showing life in it from medieval times to the war of succession of Castile in the second half of the 15C between Princess Juana “La Beltraneja” protected by the Marquis of Villena and her aunt Isabel known later as the Catholic Queen or Isabel I and the role the owner of the castle in this war.  The result was the unification of Castile and Aragon  as Spain in 1492  after the fall of the kingdom of Granada where the owner of the castle Diego López Pacheco  participated and was name by the Catholic kings ,captain general of the frontier in the war.

Then, you can go and see these other monuments. Colegiata gótica de San Bartoloméor collegiale Church gothic from the 15C  built on a previous visigoth Church. You see the wonderful choir leather furniture from the 15C engraved with biblical stories that were taken from the Cathedral of Cuenca in the 18C; the first choir chairs engraved with images of the whole of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an organ from the 18C that still in use for concerts and events of religious music . Some of the retables or altars are from the 16C and 17C very nice. Antiguo alcázar or Palacio del Infante D. Juan Manuel, (old fortress or palace of the heir to throne) for many years in ruins , the last fall out was in Christmas 2005. Now totally restored and part of the lodgings of the Ruta de Don Quijote (route of Don Quixote), opened in 2014. Hospital de San Andrés (St Andrews hospital) founded in 1415 in ruins since 1970. It was a lodging for passerbys and pilgrimages, now the altars retables of it are kept in the Collegiale Church of San Bartolomé. Plaza del Pilar or square Pilar there is only some supporting pillars save from those that surrounded the biggest square in Belmonte. There si a fountain restored in the 1990’s and two pillars sweet and sour and from the center you see the College of Trinitarians now a health center. Plaza de correos y telégrafosor postal and telegraph square, there is the former college of the Company of Jesus and later was municipal prison.

A bit of history I like

In the papal bull of Innocent III the bishop of Cuenca call it  Bellomonte (beautiful forest), due to the forest that surrounded the town. In 1294 , it appeared in the accounts book of king Sancho IV between the towns on which he collected money to pay his knights that were to accompany  Don Juan Manuel, the future Prince of Villena,to the lands of  Murcia. In 1323  the town gained some notoriety on the Chronicon domini Joannis Enmanuelis,saying that in this year 1323 Don Juan Manuel (also nephew of king  Alfonso X started to built a wall ramparts called Belmont and on the same time built the fortress old  Alcázar. The first member of the family of Pacheco  that was lord of the town was  Juan Fernández Pacheco, that was given by the king  Enrique III the privilidge signed at Tordesillas in 1398, given him the reason for being a person of great importance for the war.  The lordship was inherited by his daughter  María, that married Alfonso Téllez Girón y Vázquez de Acuña. From this marriage came two sons  Juan Pacheco  and Pedro Girón (born at Belmonte). The lordship eventually was inherited by Pedro Girón. The youngest was  Juan Pacheco, first Marquis of  Villena, that ordered built the castle of  Belmonte in 1456  as well as the collegiale Church of San Bartolomé on the same date as the castle.  King Pedro I  of Castile been at Sevilla in 1361  gave the city of Belmonte the royalty and priviledge of a city.  Later, king Enrique II of Castile,  to gained the trust of the courts of Burgos in 1367 gives the privilidge of city and exempt the town of the jurisdiction of  Alarcón (see post) with the same rights as those of nearby castle or Castillo de Garcimuñoz (see post).

The Castilla La Mancha region tourist office on Belmonte :

The city of Belmonte on its heritage

The official Castle of Belmonte:

There you go, another jewel in down soulful Castilla La Mancha, hey you read Don Quijote by Miguel Cervantes y Saavedra, then you need to come by these lands. Hope you enjoy reading Belmonte a castle and a story as I.

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

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