There are a lot of wine shows and winery open days at the moment. On Remembrance Day Sunday we travelled up through the Sologne woodlands to Blois, where a Vinomedia wine fair was being held at the Grain Market.
With forty-three stands, this was not a huge show, but great value and a lot of fun all the same. Vinomedia are a commercial outfit who put on shows of this sort throughout France. On this occasion they had winemakers from 33 appellations represented. Those from the Loire included Les Vignes Herbal from Anjou, Domaine de Poterne from Chinon, Domaine de la Closerie of Coteaux du Layon, Domaine des Tileuls offering Muscadet and Florent Bardin showing Pouilly Fumé and Sancerre.
This great range of Loire wine producers were joined by others from area France, from the Alsace in the east to Bordeaux in the west, and right down to the Languedoc and Roussillon in the south. Samples were enthusiastically offered and included Champagne and Cognac; having tasted we could not resist a few cases for the cellar. In addition to Bordeaux’s from the Medoc and St. Emillion, we purchased a Moulin à Vent, all from the 2010 crop. From the Loire we selected a rather lovely sweet Coteaux du Layon produced from old Chenin Blanc (Pineau de la Loire) vines. These are harvested very ripe fruit, sun-dried on the vine, called passerillé grapes.