Experience

A vineyard tour

The Sud Val de Loire is in the heart of the Touraine PDO and its two local appellations (Touraine Chenonceaux and Touraine Oisly) and the Valençay PDO. This is what makes it such a great destination: as you make your way around, you can stop off at one of the many winegrowers who have carved out this region, for a tasting and a unique experience! Laurent and Stéphanie, wine lovers from Bordeaux, came to stay with Laurent’s parents to discover the Loire wines they had heard so much about… They tell us about their visit to the Domaine de la Méchinière, with Valérie Forgues, the owner.

Happiness at the end of a lane

“It’s always a pleasure to take these narrow roads which twist and turn through the green hillsides and end up in a farmyard. We think, ‘We’re here!’, we turn the car off and get out. First it’s silence, calm and excitement, we’re going to meet the person who brings life to this place and who produces the bottled treasure from this land every year!”

L'Heureux Hasard c'est

Small vineyard, but wide choice of grape varieties

“We chose this estate because it has the ‘Bienvenue à la Ferme’ label, a network of local producers who sell directly to the public. And, we like small vineyards: this one is only 15 hectares, but Valérie Forgues grows 7 different grape varieties (Orbois, Chenin, Sauvignon, Pineau d’Aunis, Gamay, Cabernet franc and Côt). We notice particularly the famous Orbois, which barely exists outside Loir et Cher. We feel immediately at home, but she explains that it’s not her land, she’s just looking after it for a few years.”

A world of wine apart

“We settled into the welcoming tasting room and tried the different wines, most of them labelled organic. The labels are beautiful and the names of the Méchinière wines are very descriptive: Glasting, mixed pineaux, berry blood, Icon… All four of us took away at least one bottle from the whole range. It’s impossible to do otherwise, each of the wines has their own personality and charm!”

An adventurer’s journey

Valérie Forgues was born in Dunkirk and she studied agriculture in Tours and Angers. She told us this was a big surprise for her family because they weren’t in agriculture. She worked in the food industry, then did a dissertation in the USA. After that she lived in Germany and only returned to France in 1996. The following year she took over this estate.”

A very ‘natural’ estate

“For a number of years, Valérie has worked with the Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux, the French society for the protection of birds, and together they have created a short route to observe the species along the Cher, and in the woods, fields and vines. As we had a bit of time to spare, we decided to make the most of it, and it was really great. We even saw a fox! Valérie also organises a winegrowers’ picnic and another story-telling one. We’ll be back for that.”