le tasting room

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

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Anyone fancy a biscuit?

Magali & Patrick Groneau launched their small biscuit making business in 2006.  Based just outside Les Rosiers sur Loire, they bought the old school which gives them loads of space to produce the biscuits and receive visitors.   Patrick starts at 4am every day making the biscuit base to which he adds a variety of different flavourings.  Cabernet d'Anjou, apple, honey, butter, orange and lemon are just some of flavours you can find.  

Patrick first rolls out the prepared biscuit base to a precis thickness to ensure all the bicuits are the same.

He covers the rolled base with sugar that he then removes leaving just a trace - this ensures the biscuits are crisp and crunchy but not too sweet.

Using a special cutter, he marks out the biscuits and removes any that are not the perfect shape.

He then carefully removes the individual biscuits and places them on a baking sheet.

When the trays are full they are put in the oven for precisely 21 minutes at 155°C.

Exactly 21 minutes later they come out of the oven.

The biscuits are then checked sorted and weighed.

Each bag contains 200g of biscuits (around 24)

And finally over to Magali who is front of house.  The old classroom for CM2 provides a great space for tasting the range and other local products are also available.

The biscuits are completely natural with no preservatives added and have a long shelf life which makes them excellent as they retain their crunchiness.

We'll be serving them to guests in the morning alongside a coffee and are proud to be able to support one of our local producers.

Biscuiterie Le Vinaillou
Ancienne Ecole du Clairay
"Le Clairay"
Route de Beaufort
49350 Les Rosiers sur Loire
Open for visits from mid April until mid October and on Fridays during the winter months
Closed January/February

Tel 02 41 67 44 40
Email: le-vinaillou@live.fr

Friday, 20 April 2012

In & around Chinon

A few photos taken in and around Chinon on Wednesday this week.  The Spring colours are lovely with the trees in blossom and the fields of oil seed rape a brilliant yellow.  

Chateau du Petit Thouars - good reds from the Cabernet Franc grape currently in the Touraine appellation but soon to come under the umbrella of Chinon

Overlooking Chinon from the castle

The pretty vineyards of Domaine de la Noblaie in Ligré just outside Chinon

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Domaine des Sablonnettes

We stopped for lunch in St Lambert sur Lattay at a little shop/chambre d'hote/restaurant that has recently opened in the village.  Lunch was simple but really tasty and at 14€ a head was good value for money.  We had a homemade terrine served with dressed salad leaves and onion marmalade, a pan fried steak with creamed cabbage, potato croquettes and a beetroot preserve, and for dessert a pancake with salted butter caramel sauce and creme chantilly.  Run by a husband a wife team the welcome was warm and the wines local (a range from Pithon-Paillé & Pierre Chauvin - both just round the corner from them.  

Situated just outside the village of Rablay sur Layon, Domaine des Sablonnettes is a small estate run by Christine, Joêl and Jérémy Ménard. We called in yesterday for a tasting - they have a large range but two wines stuck out for us that are a bit offbeat and unusual. 

 The tasting room at Domaine des Sablonnettes

Le Quart d'Heure Ange Vin is a rosé made from passerillé grapes - different in colour to most rosés it has a tawny port appearance and lovely aromas of of sultanas and fruit cake.  It has 60-70g of residual sugar and would make a nice apero.  A new introduction along the same theme is a red produced from over-ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.  This one undergoes a carbonic maceration and has the same amount of residual sugar on the palate.  It has attractive blackcurrant leaf aromas and would be excellent served with a bitter chocolate tart.  It's light in style and retains enough acidity to keep it fresh.