Randonnée: Circuit from La Croix Trevingt to Gué de la Chaux and back. This time we started far higher up, although it was still a good stiff climb in parts up to the Gué de la Chaux and at around 11km rather longer than the previous day's walk. All in a landscape that is a world away from the vineyards of the Côte Roannaise only a few kilometres away.
Domaine Robert Sérol, Renaison
The Côte Roannaise vineyards are mainly planted on the lower foothills of the Monts de la Madeleine that rise up steeply from the Loire Valley. Prior to promotion from VDQS status to AC in 1994, this was called the Côtes Roannaises as there were vines to the east of Roanne. The appellation is now confined to 14 communes to the west of Roanne from La Pacaudière in the north to Bully in the south. However, the main vineyards lie either side of the North-South D8 road centred on the small market town of Renaison. Gamay is the only permitted variety for the appellation. Renaison is only just over 70 kilometres by road from Quincie-en-Beaujolais in the heart of the Beaujolais and probably around 60 km in a direct line.
Unusually for the Upper Loire the Côte Roannaise has no cooperative unlike the Côtes de Forez and Saint-Pourçain where the coops are the dominant force. In the Côtes d'Auvergne the Cave Saint-Verny is a significant player.
Carine and Stéphane Sérol with a bottle of their Incorruptible
Ripening Gamay (above and below)
We moved onto 2008 Les Blondins, which is the vineyard they have in association with Peirre Troisgros and is in organic conversion – due to get its label in 2010. We tried two bottles. The first, although it had concentration, was rather dumb. The second was better but still this 2008 needs another six to 12 months in bottle to really show its paces. 2007 Les Millerands, 70% destemmed with 11 months in vat, has structure, black fruits and good length. Probably needs a little more time in bottle – otherwise I'd stick it into a carafe.
Today's vigneron is always on call...........
Some vintage car enthusiasts arriving to buy wine
Advance warning: 20th December 2009: Portes Ouvertes
Domaine Robert Sérol,
Les Estainaudes, 42370 Renaison
Tel: 04.77.64.44.04 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Domaine du Fontenay
Report on Domaine de Fontenay will now appear here
(Report on day 4 is now complete.)