Fume – Sancerre – Tours.
They sell Chateau Margaux by the glass?!!! Bam. I’ll have that.
I head off early, wanting to pack as much in as I could, and hit ‘La Tour du Pouilly Fume’. Her English better that my French she decided to help me out. “The video plays, then move to next room, then to me and you have tasting.” Sounds good. The video didn’t play and I hadn’t the heart… the sound was good. If you like wine and you’re in Pouilly-sur-Loire this is worth a visit – footage or not. The second room did work and was, in itself, worth the ticket-price. A brilliant film follows Pouilly winemakers through there season. Whilst you get sprayed with moisture from an overhanging garden hose. I’m playing it down. It was good. The tasting was better. I buy a bottle and she sends me off to a local Chateau.
The chateau cave was good, but not worth mentioning. I buy two more.
Im time conscious and so head straight to Sancerre. I arrive and am no longer time conscious. The beauty of the place is all-consuming. Narrow streets (very narrow at times: thanks satnav) are typical French: all old stone and green shutters arrowing onto beautiful squares.
I am stopped as I walk into one by a lorry driver who beckons at me urgently to help. He is stuck. I struggled in my BMW – he’s in a lorry. He’s trying desperately to reverse out. I help as much as I can with my pretty poor manouvering skills (picked up only from my rememberance of Heathrow landing crew – without the orange batons). After a while I feel enough attention has been drawn that I can slip away from my uselessness and onto Sancerres’ museum of wine. He might still be there… not sure how he got in in the first place.
The museum was good but I head off after a quick meander to La Tour de Sancerre. “La Tour” is actually a tower. It is a 14th century turret bought in 1995 or so by the winemakers society and renovated. It is 200 steps up. I do this as soon as it has opened and I’m in the pitch black heading up a steep narrow staircase. Very medieval. I’m sweating when I hit the light. Never. Seen. Anything. Like. It. It’s a unabrupted view of vineyard after vineyard. It shows the sheer enormity of what wine is to this lot. It is stunning. It’s a must if you ever come near.
Lunch in the market square and I’m off again shaking my head at the beauty of it all.
Now comes the best drive I’ve ever had in my life. Vineyards on the left. Vineyards on the right. Two miles ahead. Clear road. Turn. Same again. Every time my satnav said something lke: “take the second-exit at the roundabout in 12.2 miles” I smiled, shook my head, and put “Born in the USA” back on. Not my foot down, obviously.
I arrive in Tours thinking it’s a dump. It’s a bunch of council blocks. But as I get nearer so my temperament improves.
The Airbnb is ok. Its in a great location but I hate staying in other peoples space and this is a shared one so I dump my things and head for the old town. Again my mouth drops when I see the cathedral. I walk. Theres a bar. My mouth drops. They sell Chateau Margaux by the glass. Bam. I’ll have that. It’s expensive though. I’ll do without dinner. It’s definitely them most exepsive glass I’ve had (€27) but Im convinced the best. Maybe because it’s the most expesive but it is fucking good. Deep. Complex. Lasts longer that a virgin wooing a nun. Brilliant. Enough of that.
I walk on and marvel at the buildings lining what was France’s capital in the 13th Century and contemplate my day. It was fucking brilliant.
To bed and to tomorrow. Je suis tres looking forward to it.
Angers, Nantes, Bordeaux dans le demain.