Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Château d’Yseron, Vallet

(23 September 2008)
We stayed overnight at the Château d’Yseron, which is about three kilometres north east of Vallet. Owned and run by Olivier de Saint-Albin this is a very comfortable place to stay. We had a large room with a bed that would have easily accommodated three people with a good firm mattress and luxurious sheets. The property used to belong to the Benedictine order. The monks left in 1750 and in 1830 the property was bought by Olivier's grandfather, who built the current château. Olivier, who used to sell TGVs and other forms of transport in the US and Canada, is now retired. He has impeccable English but is happy to speak French.

The estate has 10 hectares of vines – making Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine and a bottle-fermented sparkling wine from a blend of Melon de Bourgogne and Chardonnay.
Rooms: 5 from €80-€120 including breakfast. WiFi. Credit cards accepted.

Olivier de Saint-Albin, Château d'Yseron, 44330 Vallet

Auberge Chez Pipette
That evening we enjoyed a simple meal at the Auberge Chez Pipette, which specialises in various grills over sarments des vignes (vine cuttings). We shared a plate of grilled calamari rings followed by an entrecôte and a fillet steak – both good and fine partners for the 2005 Anjou Villages from Château de Passavant. Although we could have ordered some garish ice-cream sundaes, we each opted for a couple of scoops of ice-cream. Chez Pipette is well outside La Haye-Fouassière. It’s just off the D149 to Clisson and close to the junction with the N249.

Auberge Chez Pipette, 13 Impasse Tournebride, 44690 La Haye - Fouassière
Tel: 02 40 54 80 47

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