Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wine, dine and cycle

One of the many, classic questions I have from guests on wine tours is ‘How do you do this for a living and stay slim?’ Well here’s a really easy answer – sadly not mine.
Adam Ruck, knows a thing or two about food, being restaurant critic for Which and AA. He is also passionate about France and has distilled his experience of cycling around of France into a web site ‘France on Two Wheels and more fully his new book, just published by Short Books
The book is a terrific guide to the culture, history, food ,B & B’s and other French delights including the Bordeaux region ,with a special mention for Château d’Yquem
So eat and drink with a clear conscience but just keep cycling !

Staying close to nature in Saint Emilion

Looking for somewhere original to stay in the vineyards of Bordeaux? I’ve already mentioned the tree houses in the grounds of Chateau Malleret in the Medoc in a previous blog post. I love them but they are for the adventurous at heart. If you fancy getting closer to nature but still like your creature comforts, Chateau Franc Mayne now has the answer.
The second wine of the property is called les Cedres de Franc Mayne, named after the two beautiful cedar trees in front of the property. These trees are now the site for the latest room offered by the Relais Franc Mayne – the hotel on the property – a tree house. This is a tree house with a difference however, very luxurious with a fully functioning bathroom and heating or air-conditioning. Keeping to the international theme it is decorated as a Swiss Chalet – you feel transported to a Switzerland as you cross the threshold.
The choice of a tree house room underlines the eco theme of the Chateau and the hotel, along with the all-natural swimming pool in the hillside, which you can access directly from the Chalet/tree house.


The Chalet at Chateau Franc Mayne

The innovation doesn’t stop here The Chateau has just opened their new under ground cellar tour. Chateau Franc Mayne has long been known for welcoming visitors to discover the famous limestone ‘terroir’ of Saint Emilion along with several other properties that are all interconnected via the ancient quarries under the medieval city.
Following in the footsteps of Chateau Villemaurine who opened a son and lumiere last season they have used the same designer, Eric le Collen but have taken quite a different approach to show off the spectacular underground cellars used for aging the wines of the property to tell the history of the wine and the region. Yet another reason to come to Saint Emilion this season, and a little light relief for visitors that are not complete wine geeks.