The picturesque town of Sancerre, perched high on its hilltop above the vineyards that echo its name, plays host to a delightful wine fair on the last weekend of August. The foire is held in the old mushroom caves (Caves de la Mignonne) below the town and comprises a colourful mixture of wine, food and craft stalls. All the main wine regions of France are represented – not just the Loire – and it is therefore an ideal opportunity to purchase a variety of wines for your cellar. All the stalls offer tastings, and they are usually free.
We have reserved rooms at Le Panoramic hotel in Sancerre for Saturday and Sunday nights. The hotel pool benefits from sweeping views across the surrounding vines. We start Saturday evening by strolling down to the foire, after which a short walk into the centre of Sancerre takes us to the delightful Michelin restaurant, La Tour, where we dine overlooking the vine laden hills. The superb food in this excellent establishment is the perfect match for the stunning view over the vineyards from our upstairs dining room, the sunset from here is amazing.
On Sunday morning Pierre Riffault, our Sancerre supplier, will meet us at the Maison de Sancerre where we learn about the history and the complex terroir of this famous region. He will then be our guide for a coach tour of the local vineyards en route to his vineyard at Chaudoux. He will show us round his vineyard and the cellar before treating us to a tasting of their wines and entertaining us to a ‘picnic’ lunch in his garden. The ‘picnic’ is an impressive gourmet buffet, accompanied by copious quantities of Pierre’s best wines.
£345 (2 nights)
This includes: 2 nights’ accommodation sharing a double en-suite room at Le Panoramic hotel; dinner with wines at La Tour on Saturday evening; visits to the foire and the Maison de Sancerre; return coach travel to Chaudoux on Sunday and the al fresco lunch, with wines, at the vineyard.