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February 1, 2023

The presqu’Île de Rhuys Peninsula !!!

I live in the beautiful department 56 Morbihan in the lovely region of Bretagne, and in my belle France. We have inland towns of great historical interest and many coastal towns of equal importance and distance. I live about 22 km or about 14 miles from the coast of the Morbihan. In our department there are two major peninsulas, one is Quiberon and the other is Rhuys, the one I will like to tell you a bit more today. This is an update on text and links of an older post ;therefore will be on my black and white series, no pictures, Hope you enjoy it as I

There are towns and beach towns and there are harbors in towns; all is of course surrounded by water and beautiful beaches. We have even rode tandem bikes here from Port du Crouesty to Port de Navalo. This was and is an introduction to the peninsula of Rhuys and do read my many other posts on it, thanks, The main town here is Sarzeau located by the Gulf of Morbihan and the Atlantic Ocean. It is limited to the west by the towns of Arzon and Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys, to the northeast by that of Saint-Armel and to the southeast by that of the Tour-du-Parc; to the north by the Gulf of Morbihan and to the south by the Atlantic Ocean. With more than 65 km of coastline, Sarzeau is one of the towns of Brittany and even France that have the longest coastline.

It has several islands outlying in its territory such as the île des Oeufs or Egg Island, a tiny boulder with a farmhouse, is located off the tip of the Ruault, south of Iluric Island . It has a maximum altitude of 4 meters. Godec Island, although separated from Sarzeau by a deep channel, is also attached to Sarzeau. It is a low island surrounded by oyster parks that separates it from Huric.  Stibiden Island, with an area of 8 hectares, comprises several granite buildings. Highest (11 meters)  Govihan Island, off the Port de Logeo, is the largest in the town. A group of houses is located to the southeast. It is one of the few islands in the Gulf to have as many beaches as rocks.  Brannec Island has two recent houses, facing the Ile aux Moines.  All of them are private properties. If once Ilur, while attached to the mainland, was the seat of a large parish which covered the territory of Sarzeau and far beyond , it has been attached to Arz  island since the 16C.

Things to see in Sarzeau are

 The castle of Suscinio (see post)  is the main historical monument of Sarzeau. Several castles in the area the better ones in my opinion are the Kerlevénan Castle (18C),(call ahead for hours); Chinese pavilion, family Chapel and English garden. Those of Neret, and Kergeorget, also built on the shores of the Gulf, date from the same period. The Château de Truscat, of 1702, redesigned towards 1830 at the site of a 16C manor, after 1850, the work of embellissment continued. The 17C Chapel. The castle is in the middle of a beautiful park at the edge of the gulf with century-old trees; It belongs to the descendants of the Francheville for more than five centuries. In 1815, General Bernadotte, the future king of Sweden (and today descendants), presided over the feast of Pacification. A friend of Jules de Francheville, Frédéric Ozanam stayed there often. Also, has several megaliths or stones the best one in my opinion is the menhir of Kermaillard there are dolmens in Brillac (Er Roh), in Kergillet (Lannek Er Men) and two other large menhirs lying down, one in Largueven, the other, named Men Heol, near the town Villeneuve. Churches and Chapels abound, the best ones in my opinion are Notre-Dame-de-la-Côte ,Chapel from 17C and 19C built in Penvins between land and sea. Saint-Saturnin church built in the 17C nearby, the Abbaye Saint-Gildas de Rhuys 11C. Several beaches as well, the best in my opinion is the Le Roaliguen, beach on the ocean located south of Sarzeau, forms with that of Kerfontaine to the west and those of Landrezac and Penvins to the east a ribbon of sand 12 km long.

The Château de Suscinio, built at the end of the Middle Ages (in the 13C and in the second half of the 14C), residence of the Dukes of Brittany, is located on the edge of Mor Braz (Atlantic Ocean) in the town of Sarzeau, A wonderful place with nice arts exhibits and in a quaint village outside the city limits of Sarzeau. The castle of Suscinio, girded with moats deep of 3 -4 meters, affects the shape of an irregular quadrilateral flanked by seven towers, including a quadrangular defending the West curtain. These towers as well as the towerettes that it commands are in their low bases, essentially vestiges of the 13C castle.

The City of Sarzeau on its history :

The offficial Château de Suscinio :

I move on to the wonderful ports or harbors of the Rhuys peninsula, the best ones in my opinion.

The port du Crouesty(see posts) is a marina created in 1973 on the site of a marshy area located at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan on the territory of the town of Arzon. Today the marina, which has recently been enlarged, can house more than 1 500 pleasure boats on pontoons making it the largest marina in Brittany. A thalassotherapy center is located near the port.

The official Port du Crouesty:

The Port de Navalo (see posts) is a former coastal fishing port dating from the early 20C. It is located in the town of Arzon, in the Morbihan Department of Brittany. Located on the Rhuys Peninsula on the northern edge of Mor Braz (Atlantic ocean) and at the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan, this coastal resort offers a panorama of Quiberon and Locmariaquer as well as the interior of the Gulf. The lighthouse of the pointe of Port Navalo; since 1840, a lighthouse indicates the entrance to the Gulf of Morbihan. The current lighthouse dates from 1891.

The City of Arzon on Port de Navalo :

And the other city that controls the harbor such as Navalo and Crouesty is Arzon.

Arzon (see posts) is located at the end of the peninsula of Rhuys, it is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Morbihan, to the south by the Bay of Quiberon, western part of Mor Braz (Atlantic ocean), and to the east by the town of Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuys. The town has two seaside resorts of very different character: Port-Navalo dating from the beginning of the 20C; the Crouesty, modern seaside resort, in constant development since 1973 and until today, built around the largest marina of the Breton coast.   Right at the end of the peninsula Rhuys it has several points or ending cliffs to the ocean, with great views some of the best are Pointe du Béché; Pointe de Benin; Pointe de Bilgroix: Point of Kerners; Pointe du Monteno; Pointe de Penbert; and Pointe de Saint-Nicolas. Other sites worth a detour are the Notre Dame de l’Assumption Church. The mound of Tumiac;, also called “hill of Céasar” the alignment of Kerjouanno; The cairn of the Petit Mont; The Cromlech of Er Lannic with double enclosure. As well as the tomb of the Little Moss (petite Mousse) ; Text of the memorial plaque: “on October 2, 1859, near Port-Navalo, the Sea rejects a corpse that has stayed for more than two months in the water and that no one can recognize. He is a man of thirty years… On the waistcoat and trousers, copper buttons with anchors and cannons”……Go figure it!

Well for the right time in Summers this is heavens planning is a must as it can be loaded ,some of my favorites beaches are the  plage du Fogeo-Kerjouanno,  plage du Kerver, (see posts) plage de Port-Sable , plage de Port-Lenn, Plage des 3 Fontaines, and plage du Tréno. The cairn of the Petit Mont(see post);It houses a monumental ensemble composed of two adjoining Cairns, built in several phases during the Neolithic era, and two dolmens whose rooms are richly decorated with engravings. it faces the island of Houat. The view from its top allows to embrace almost the entire Bay of Quiberon. 

The City of Arzon and its beaches :

The official Cairn of petit mont of Arzon

The local Gulf of Morbihan on the Rhuys peninsula:

The Morbihan dept 56 tourist office on the Rhuys peninsula:

There you go folks, there you go on a world of its own , Rhuys Peninsula, enclosed by three bodies of water, therefore a peninsula.  Wonderful world, even in winter. You should check it out , worth the detour indeed. Again, hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

January 29, 2023

Wines news of France XLII !!

Well, we are fully in Winter, we are now 4C or about 39F clear skies in my neck of the woods. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wines news of France. By the way for the non Romans XLII is no 42, First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers since November 26 2010 of my blog! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give you some news shall we. Hope you enjoy it as I.

How do you know if a wine is good to drink? The five signs that should alert you , A smell of dust or the “taste of cork” , A strange color; Yellow or even orange for a white wine, dull or brown for a red wine, An abnormal level in the bottle ,Unusual smells, The appearance of the cork, Check it out always.

What wines should be used in cooking? Good wine, good sauce, as the saying goes in my belle France. And its corollary: bad wine, bad sauce. White for fish and white meats, red for red meats light red in cooking freshwater fish, dry white wine in beef mode. The rosé will reveal itself in a sauce closer to a red than a white, while the orange wine, which is a white wine vinified like a red, will associate the finesse of the first with the tannins of the second and is halfway between path between one and the other , As for sparkling wines like Champagne, if their bubbles disappear during cooking, they will lighten the texture of a sauce emulsified over low heat. In addition to its color, three criteria should guide your choice of wine : its tannin content (which will structure the sauce), its sugar level (which will determine its sweetness and smoothness) and its acidity (the main raison d’être of wine in the kitchen). Sweet, syrupy or fortified wines are superb last minute additions. Jerez, yellow wine from Jura, pearl wine from Gaillac, give dishes a smoky and elegant touch that makes them irresistible. It all depends on the ingredients, the recipe and the type of cooking. Wine in the kitchen is also a matter of timing. The stage at which it is used makes all the difference in marinade, at the start or during cooking, or as a final touch. It is better to avoid prolonged marinating for red meat, or even simply add wine at the start of cooking , A long marinade will be more suitable for large game, wild boar or deer. There is also a lot to be said for the wine added at the last moment, because the alcohol, not eliminated by the heat, invites itself into the resulting flavor. Kitchen tips indeed !

Questions to ask the vineyard/winery during your visit : On the vines : As you stroll through them, you may ask: What is the area of the estate? What grape varieties are grown? What are the yields per hectare? How many pickers come each year to help with the harvest? What is the planting density? What is soil type?, On the cellars : Do not forget to ask there: What is the capacity of the vats? Are there any inputs during vinification? How to control the alcohol content of wine during vinification? How many barrels are there? Are they oak barrels? stainless steel? For how many months does this cuvée remain in barrel? What impact does the stainless steel barrel/tank have on the wines? And at the tasting? On the cellar Whether you are an amateur or an expert in the art of tasting, ask: Which cuvée is most influenced by the terroir? (soils, climates, etc.) Which is your favorite and why? By asking these questions, you will be unbeatable on the vineyard and on what the winemaker does during his days. Beyond your knowledge of the subject, these questions will also show the winemaker that you have a real interest in his world: the guarantee of a successful visit! Indeed tested for many many years all over the world, Enjoy the visits !

For the past fifteen years, signals have shown a profound change in wine consumption in France and the latest figures reinforce this development facing the wine regions. All indicate the same drop in wine sales in 2022, and therefore, a drop in wine consumption in France. The latest comes from data from IRI World Wide, the company specializing in the analysis of market data recorded on December 4, 2022, which confirms a 6% drop in the volumes of still wines, all categories combined, in retail and a 4.91% drop in turnover. Red wines are the most penalized (-9.7% in volume and -3.2% in value), and rosés are doing the best (-1% in volume and 3.6% in value). In detail, AOP wines are particularly affected, with a drop of 7.2% in volume and -4.7% in value. And if we compare this study with the sales statistics published regularly for fifteen years, we see that the phenomenon is not new, contrary to what the sector suggests, which suddenly seems surprised by this phenomenon of consumption. Not surprise here after all the propaganda to drink less because is bad for you nonsense, wine has shown to be beneficial in health in many studies, Of course, in moderation and with a meal as we do at home every day !

Like raclette, fondue is an essential winter dish that brings its share of comfort after a day spent on the ski slopes! Originally from Switzerland, this dish consists simply of dipping bread in melted cheese mixed with white wine. However, the fondue is not limited to the only preparation based on cheese. This dish also offers a meat version, called Burgundy fondue. For the greediest, it is also possible to dip some fresh fruit in a delicious creamy chocolate! The best match are white wines from Savoie such as Roussette which has a tension with notes of white-fleshed fruit. For red wines, it is the traditional Mondeuse, emblematic grape variety of Savoie. It is a fresh and light red wine that offers a slightly spicy bouquet on the finish. For a Savoyard fondue, we can stick to the regional pairing with Roussette de Savoie which has enough freshness to balance the very creamy and rich side of the melted cheese, Yes, charcuterie can modify the food and wine pairing In this case, a fresh and delicate red wine can match the fondue like the Chinon, a supple and light Cabernet Franc with notes of crunchy fruits that will perfectly accompany charcuterie without taking over the melted cheese. For the Burgundy fondue, a plethora of red wines are possible. Beef goes perfectly with red Burgundy wines ,also red wines from the Rhône Valley also made from Syrah , Chocolate fondues are often paired with fruit. In the case of a dark chocolate fondue, it is necessary to take into account the families of fruits and the bitterness of the dark chocolate. Most often, these are citrus fruits and red fruits that have enough acidity to pair with wines. This goes wonderfully with sweet natural red wines made from Grenache such as Maury or Rivesaltes for example, We do both raclette and fondue at home nowdays every week at home !

The businessman Stéphane Courbit (LOV Groupe), as well as his associates, the Nicolas Sarkozy-Carla Bruni couple and the Bordeaux Prats family, have just bought Villa Beaulieu to the west of Aix-en-Provence ( Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation) Château Beaulieu in the Bouches du Rhône and the Cantarelle estate in the Var, north-east of Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume (Coteaux Varois appellation). Mr. Courbit (majority) and his associates in Provence where they already exploit the Château Estoublon (around Fontvieille, in the valley of Les Baux-de-Provence) to produce wine in AOP Les-Beaux-de-Provence and Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, an olive oil of excellence and developing a luxury hotel industry. The worldwide success of rosé wine from Provence and the tremendous tourist potential of this region open to the Mediterranean attract many wealthy investors. In recent years, the LVMH group (Château du Galoupet, Château d’Esclans), the Pernod-Ricard group (Château Sainte-Marguerite), the Wertheimers (Domaine de l’Île and Domaine Perzinsky in Porquerolles), several film personalities such Brad Pitt (château Miraval) and Georges Lucas (château Margüi), the former president of Medef Pierre Gattaz (château de Sannes) have acquired wine properties in the region, Glitz and wine pairs well,Know more about the LOV Groupe :

In the heart of Reims, the Villa Demoiselle is a particularly successful blend of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Acquired in 2004 by the Vranken house, and renovated by the best craftsmen, this former private mansion is an opportunity to discover French excellence and Champagne know-how. It is also an exceptional setting in which to savor classic cuvées and exceptional vintage cuvées from one of the most important wine-growing players in Champagne, the Vranken Pommery Monopole group, which produces the brands Pommery, Charles Laffite and Heidsieck & Cie Monopole, among others. Stay and enjoy with the best, Webpage :

The return to school/work really the re-entrée! in September announces a new edition of the Médoc marathon. Considered the longest marathon in the world, this event brings together several thousand runners from all over the world each year. The 32nd edition calls on the imagination of competitors for a race that already promises to be historic and legendary. Dressed in their finest outfits, participants will cross the vineyards of the famous Pauillac, Médoc, Haut-Médoc and even Saint-Estèphe appellations. Around the race, many activities will be organized by mixing conviviality, celebration but also sport and health: medical-sports conference, evenings in the heart of the castles, tastings of regional specialties and many other surprises! Now now I do not do the marathon but visited along the route indeed superbe !! Official webpage :

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. Stay warm and see you in the vineyards of France

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

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