This evening we enjoyed a very convivial wine tasting at the Domaine de Thalie in Bray. The proprietor, Peter Gierszewski, is a relative newcomer who ran a wine business in Cluny before realising his passion for producing wine.
In 2009 he bought 5 hectares (approx 12 acres) of vines on a west facing hillside on the highest part of Bray. He started from scratch and converted an ancient farm into a winery. Within a short time he has become highly successful with his organic wines. The gamay, pinot noir and chardonnay grapes are grown on a clay marl and granite soil which results in a distinctive terroir. They are produced without using pesticides or herbicides, and are picked by hand. For fermentation he uses yeasts and bacteria naturally present on the vines.
Peter is trying out a new wine, a rosé blend of syrah and gamay. It is very unusual to find syrah grapes outside the Rhone valley. Very good it was too so we came away with a couple of bottles to enjoy at home.
Entertainment was provided by Air de Filles, a celtic band playing traditional dance music.
Air de Filles
Also on display was the work of Melanie Bray from Cortambert, La Forge De Salohan.
Melanie with one of the children who had just fallen over
Mélanie is the last person you might expect to find working in a forge as she is petite with three small children. But she finds the time to make useful and distinctive items in iron.
Some of Melanie’s work
The open weekend continues tomorrow, 11 – 7. The wines from the Domaine de Thalie are well worth tasting.
In France November 1st is All Saints’ Day, when departed members of a congregation are honoured, linking the Church triumphant and the Church militant. It’s usual to put huge pots of chrysanthemums on the tombs of family and friends so the graveyards are a mass of colour.
All Saints’ Day is a public holiday, despite it being on a Sunday. I always pity the workers who would not normally be working on a Sunday anyway.
The mist has lingered all day. We went to the topmost part of Bray to see if we could break through into the sunshine but there was not a glimmer. But at the Cave Porcheron it was not at all gloomy with lots of people enjoying a winetasting. There was music and plenty of food with demonstrations of woodcarving and shoeing horses. The wine was flowing and we tried them all, ending up choosing the 2013 “Les Fossiles”, a gamay.
Down in the cave
Chris said we should drink more local wine, especially as he is always going through the vineyards on his quad. So we’ll just have to do our best.
We are gearing up for our yearly Randonnée des Roses which will take place on Sunday 7th June. The weather promises to be good so we are hoping for a large turnout. Chris has planned the routes of the four circuits and the best places to offer refreshments along the way. Posters are going up in local villages, and Pascale, Claire and Marie Antoinette are joining other villages’ randonnées to hand out flyers.
Our group today
This morning we tried out the 8km circuit, the shortest walk with probably the best views. We set off from Cortambert and followed the grassy tracks to Toury where we turned right to tackle the steep climb to Bray.
The Romanesque church at Bray
There were lovely views over the valley
Chris pointing out Taizé
After another steep climb through the vineyards we were glad to find ourselves in the shade of the woods along the ridge….
before coming down through the meadows and heading for home.
Cortambert in sight
It’s a fairly easy walk with lovely views and we hope the less serious walkers will enjoy it. So remember, the Randonnée des Roses on Sunday 7th June starting at Cortambert Foyer Rural. A warm welcome and lots of refreshments are guaranteed. We’re working on the sunshine.
We were a select group for this morning’s walk, most people having opted to go for the Bourgogne/Quebec Society 40th anniversary lunch at the foyer.
We started at the lavoir at Toury and climbed up through the vineyards past Bray to the Faitral.
We stopped many times to look at the view. The vines are just turning golden.
The cows looked contented in the fields.
We walked through the woods along the Faitral until we descended to Toury again. It was good to make the most of the wonderful autumn weather and it made us appreciate that we are living in a lovely part of the world.