Loire adventure: Clau de Nell, Anjou

Sylvain Potin and Christian Jacques

There’s an interesting story behind Anjou-based biodynamic winery Clau de Nell, which was the next stop on our Loire tour.

Christian Jacques was married to the late Anne Claude Leflaive, and in 2008 the pair purchased the struggling Clau de Nell domaine, initially with a view to running it with the [...]

On the need for recognition and approval

I remember that as a child I loved creating things. I spent hours drawing: pencils, felt-tip pens, and even drawing ink. I also loved sculpting things out of plasticine (famously used by Nick Park in his animated features) and clay. But each time I did something new, I needed it to be endorsed by someone [...]

Loire adventure: Vincent Carême, Vouvray

Vincent Carême

The drive from Montlouis to Vouvray took us past the famous troglodyte residences built into the tufa (soft limestone) cliffs that follow the Cher and Loire rivers. Here, homes and wine cellars have been built into caves that were created when limestone for building was extracted. They are quirky and wonderful.

For winegrowers who [...]

Loire adventure: the film

This is a film of our Loire Valley wine adventure. We started with a day in Paris, then we head to Sancerre, before working our way up the Loire to Muscadet. It’s such an interesting wine region, and we met some great people, and tasted and drank many memorable wines.

In this film we meet the [...]

Loire adventure: Taille aux Loups, Montois, with Jacky Blot

Amboise

The view from my bedroom window!

We finished our appointment at Puzelat and headed to Amboise. It was a beautiful sunny evening, and we were quite excited, because we were staying in a castle right in the middle of town. Nicole, who booked accommodation for the trip, is officially the queen of Airbnb, and [...]

Loire adventure: Clos du Tue Boeuf with Jean-Marie Puzelat

Jean-Marie Puzelat

This was quite a visit at Clos du Tue Boeuf. I’ve met Thierry Puzelat before, and I’ve tasted these wines a bit. They are brought into the UK by Les Caves de Pyrene, and I’ve always loved them. Here was a chance to visit. Thierry was travelling, so we met with Jean-Marie, older [...]

Loire adventure: in Sancerre with Joseph Mellot

Sancerre

We drove from Paris for just over two hours to the beautiful town of Sancerre, looking gorgeous in the May sunshine. Our visit here was with Joseph Mellot, a relatively large producer making wine in each of the Central Loire appellations. Mellot has over 100 hectares of vines, with significant holdings in Sancerre (57 [...]

Loire adventure: preparing in Paris

Day two of the Loire adventure saw us get ready to head to the Loire by spending a day in Paris. Nicole, Lexi, Krysta and I caught the Eurostar and two hours and some sparkling wine later, we were in Paris. We then took the metro to our Airbnb in the 11th. It was an [...]

The Loire tour begins, in London: Sager & Wilde, Noble Rot, Le Gavroche

Sager + Wilde

I’m on a tour of the Loire with three Canadian friends. Wine agent Nicole Campbell, and Toronto sommeliers Krysta Oben and Lexi Wolkowski. We began in London, with a day of eating and drinking.

We began at Sager + Wilde on Hackney Road. Two wines, both of which hit the mark. The first [...]

More thoughts on flying, and laptop bans

Just back from California, my first trip in a few weeks. Back into the swing of long haul flying.

I enjoy being on a plane, most of the time. It’s a nice space to think, to do some writing, and also to watch bad movies. Now that there’s entertainment on a plane, people have stopped trying [...]