As we live in Hong Kong, we were most fortunate to receive our Pfizer vaccines in May/June. This equipped us for a trip to France. France itself has vaccinated it population really well so we were doubly fortunate not to have to undertake quarantine on arrival.
It’s been wonderful to be back in our home village of Gevrey-Chambertin. We’ve seen friends and neighbours whom we hadn’t seen for almost 18 months. And there is a wonderful return to normality here.
(2016 Gevrey Wine HERE)
Highlight number one was an early morning bike ride to our small parcel of “les Evocelles” vines in Gevrey-Chambertin. An early morning cup of tea from my thermos as I looked out over the village with its ancient château and church a little beyond was a real tonic. Visiting some neighbours and seeing the late end of the first flush of roses was another treat.
After a lot of hustle and bustle getting home base organised, PM and I managed a short break to the Loire Valley – the home of so many magnificent renaissance chateaus. A visit to the royal (now national) hunting estate at the Château de Chambord seemed destined to be the highlight of the trip for me. However, this was topped by a visit to the Fontevraud Abbey, a little further to the west. Here, one finds the burial sites of two of England’s greatest kings, Henry II and Richard the Lionheart. A beautiful effigy of Henry II lies alongside his equally remarkable wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. I confess that my love of the English common law made a visit to Henry II’s tomb a “must see” for me. It was a beautiful sight to behold and I admit to being totally overwhelmed!!
An evening walk in the grounds of Fontevraud showed the size and beauty of this Benedictine Abbey.
After the architectural treats of the Loire Valley, not to mention some very refined cuisine and some gorgeous Chenin Blanc wines, we were happy to return to Burgundy – our spiritual home in France.
Thankfully the rain and cool temperatures are behind us, at least for now. Bright sunny days offer at least the prospect of a high-quality vintage. We are still assessing the scale of frost damage from the severe spring frosts this year. More on that shortly once we have visited each of our small vineyards and spoken in some detail with our wonderful vignerons, Gerard and Armand.
In the meantime however, it is great just to be here, with our feet in the dirt – and smelling the fresh summer air.