And so tomorrow it begins. A 5.30 start will see me pack my little motor with only the bare essentials and begin my 2,000 mile journey with a short hop to Dover and then straight down to Pouilly-Fume.
The bare essentials making up my luggage are kept minimal for a distinct and thoughtful reason: I confidently foresee me comically discarding non-essentials out of trunk and over shoulder… desperately making room for one more case of precious grape-juice.
I’m trusting I’ll find some great wines, make some good mates and learn a bit of El Francaise along the way. It’s gonna be an adventure: although I’m sure less “Three men in a boat” and more … one man in a state.
Pouilly-Fume is in France, I hope you’d know, and more= particularly the eastern most region of the Loire Valley. The Loire is made up of four regions and Pouilly-Fume and Sancerre make up “Central Valleys”. It’s here I’ll spend a night sipping the Sauvignon Blanc made from the vines upon which I gaze. I can’t wait. A night will surely be inadequate but off I must in the morning: the winding roads of the valley itself beckon, and of course vineyards en route. More on that tomorrow.
And so with phrase-book and map – and ‘don’t mention frogs’ ringing in my ear -I head to my bed for the last time for two and half months: nervous, excited and most definitely not fluent.