le tasting room

Loire wine tours, tastings, day trips from Paris & short breaks organised by experienced English wine trade professionals.

Monday, 6 December 2010

A new roof for le tasting room

Like many others in France, our roof suffered quite substantial damage following the storm Xynthia in March, and while we knew that it would need replacing in the coming years, this accellerated the urgency somewhat. Our home (and business) is in Cumeray, a small hamlet just a 10 minute walk from the river Loire in Anjou The house itself is a former winemaker's home - a simple single storey property comprising 3 rooms and a large maturation cave running underneath the house. The previous owners restored the property and attached it to the large 17th century barn that would have at one time housed animals and grain.

First job was to remove all the old 'ardoises' (slate tiles). They were in a shocking state - crumbling in your hand.

Having removed all the old tiles, a new structure of wooden slats had to be put up for the new tiles to be pegged onto.

You can see the damage to the front of the house - we were left with several large holes after the storm that were repaired 'heath robinson' style until the entire roof could be replaced.

On go the new tiles - amazing how quickly the couvreur progressed once he got going

Off come all the old slate tiles on the front.

On goes one of the two new finials - we had hoped to repair the old ones but this was impossible so opted for two new ones.

Here you can see the new wooden structure that allows the slates to be pegged on.

Continuing with the front of the house - it's taking shape now.

One week later and the job is done - just missing the snow.

And the view from the front - a great job well done.

A bit of a drain on the pocket just before Christmas but a job well done and one that will last for many years to come. We're extremely pleased with the result and it ties up the front of the house nicely with the barn at the back (it was letting the side down a little before). The couvreur who did the job was Thierry Cerceau from Chemellier. He was quick, efficient and helpful - we can recommend him.

Thierry Cerceau
Couverture, Zinguerie-Ramonage
La Petite Guittière
49320 Chemellier
02 41 44 19 40


  1. Looks very good - an excellent investment. What it is to be dry and not fear heavy rain.

  2. We had such a good time when we visited you that we never noticed the roof. It does look pretty smart now though.

  3. I don't think we realised quite how bad a state it was in ourselves until the slates were coming off - they crumbled in your hand! Still, as Brett says, a good investment and - it does look smart - thanks.

  4. I've heard it in the news years ago that Xynthia really spelled trouble, especially to France. Too bad that place was one of the hardest hit. What’s the update on this? I hope the roof was taken good care of. This place is just magnificent for wine lovers. :)

  5. A place like this deserves to be taken good care of. Although Xynthia overran this place, it's never too late to have the place repaired, and the best thing there is that it was repaired as soon as possible.

    [Joanne Barragan]

    1. Thanks to Nelson and Joanne - I can hardly believe it is nearly 2 years ago now that we replaced the roof and it's still looking lovely. Nelson you are right the Loire is a fabulous place for wine lovers - that's our business too and we do feel privileged to be in the heart of such a beautiful wine making region that is so under-valued by so many. Most repairs from the storm have been rectified now which is good news.

  6. Hi Cathy! :) Good to hear that after two years, the roof is still in great condition. Be sure to regularly clean and maintain your roof so that you’ll be able to have this lovely roof for the next two, to five, ten or maybe even thirty years! :D

    Willene Fagen

  7. Judging from the photos, it seems like the replacement is tough enough to withstand any weather disturbances to come. Allow me to suggest that maintaining your roofing on a regular basis will make it formidable. Here's hoping for your safety no matter what storm may come.

  8. Mr. Thierry did a great job on the roof! He seems to have a lot experience and is actually impressive in doing the job all alone. It’s such a great feeling after the roof tiles have been replaced. Even knowing that you wouldn’t have to worry about it for a very long time is already a very reassuring thing.