24 May 2008

Sur une Peniche

We made our seasonal voyage on the Elizabeth recently. She is a barge (peniche) that our friends Tom and Trish Reay live on from March to November. We started in Paray le Monial and ended in Genelard...21 kilometres or 13 miles by car! The barge's drive shaft sheared off the bolts and there we stayed for the rest of our trip! Luckily, there was a train trip of a whole 20 minutes back to Paray le Monial where we retrieved our car and brought it to the barge. Then we made day trips to wonderful food and antique/junk markets. We played Mexican Train dominoes with the Dutch couple on the barge parked next to our's, visited a beautiful barge owned by Tom and Trish's friends from Phoenix, Arizona and ate, drank and laughed a lot! So great to catch up with the Reay's again!!

23 May 2008


Mike stated recently that the right side (what we can drink right this moment) of our wine cave was looking a bit thin these days so off we went to Tavel to rectify the situation! Tavel is one of our favorite rose wine regions and we were not disappointed. We visited two domaines and one cooperative. A cooperative is where a group of grapegrowers combine their grapes and resources to bottle a regional wine whereas a Domaine is privately owned and bottles their own labelled wines.

The first domaine was Domain de la Mordoree. The winemaker there was so open to introducing us to his wines and we had a great visit in addition to tasting some really good wine. We found a very yummy white Lirac and a Tavel rose that I just can't wait for summer to enjoy! He had just returned from a trip to Paso Robles in California and our discussions were quite interesting.

The second domaine was quite hidden away down a very narrow rocky road. We found an ancient lady tottering about who while serving us, kept warning us to taste, but spit it out as the gendarmes might stop us. She had a really pleasant white wine that will be so refreshing on a hot summer day. The building served as their tasting room as well as their home and looked as if it had been in their family for centuries. It was cool and musty smelling inside and had a wonderfully ancient looking garden and terrace in front. The floors were all old mosaic marble and a huge Bouvier des Flanders dog greeted us at the gate. It was like stepping back in time.

We had lunch at a small restaurant in an incredibly old winemaker's house. The interior architecture was so beautiful. Arched windows with columns running the length of a winter room, stone floors, thick dark wood doors and handpainted tiles in the bathrooms. The garden we sat in for lunch had a huge cypress tree that had a trunk as big around as our table.

Days like that remind of us the simple beauties that we discover when we take time to meander and play.