There is a first time for everything (or not) but you can congratulate me today for trying, for the very first time, a sparkling sweet red. Hurray! I had heard about them, but never tried one, and... Wow, it was quite something! OK do not expect me to say the it was the best sparkling wine I have ever tried, because it is not. I think that place still corresponds to Louis Roederer Cristal and to a Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose.
After the introduction, I should go back to the beginning. Today I woke up in Tours and visited the city. So many things happening in one day, that I have to go back in my memory and try to recall the day, but yes, it started in Tours. The lady at the tourism office was extremely helpful, giving me lots of information not only about what to do and see in Tours, but all my way to Nantes, where I am staying tonight.
Tours, of course, Saint Martin of Tours! It was kind of funny realising two things: first, that I am in a pilgrimage route. My first idea was to do the Saint James way from the French border to Compostela, but since I also wanted to do the road trip, in my mind I decided to call it 'my very particular wine pilgrimage', et voilà! My wishes come true. The second, that it is the same Saint Martin, who happens to be the patron of my Spanish hometown, Ourense.
So it has been quite a mystic experience from cathedrals to vineyards and wineries. Definitely, god exists ;)
But the maximum exponent of beauty today, and the reminder of nature's greatness, came in the form of a tree. A sight that left me speechless for its magnificence and beauty. It is today's picture of a cedar of Lebanon, 31 meters high and with a trunk of over 7 meters circumference.
After leaving Tours, my first stop was Langeais, I guess I am starting to bore you with my repetitive description of 'beautiful', but I tell you, they still are. Several deviations and Saumur. OK if you have not done so, you should definitely see it with your own eyes. It is worth it.
After such a non-alcoholic day, he, he, upon leaving Saumur, I came across a bunch of wineries specialised in crémant of the Loire. I was very lucky to catch up a visit at the Bouvet-Ladubay caves, where they are producing sparkling and still wines from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, mainly.
This time the subterranean caves digged on the typical 'tuffeau' soils of the Loire, also used to grow champignons due to the humid and cold conditions. They even have a Champignon Museum. Cool!(http://www.musee-du-champignon.com/)
After the very interesting visit, that varied slightly from the Champagne production method, time to do some tasting, and this was the moment where Rubis, the red sparkling, came to my life ;)
Time to 'speed up' a bit, still have half of the way to go before I get to Nantes, so only a two hour stop at Angers, where I could finally see a XIII century fortress, finally! A castle with its crocodile pit and everything. Nice.
Time to make my way to Nantes and have nice glass of wine, before going to bed and continue my trip tomorrow. Soon in Bordeaux.
Meet Rubis: http://www.bouvet-ladubay.fr/rubis_deguster.cfm