Wednesday, December 03, 2008

La Cave Insolite

This was the sign above the entrance to one of the the wine houses that we visited with our friends last week. It's in Montlouis on the Loire and it's called François Chidaine.

The Unusual Wine Cellar.

It means "The Unusual Wine Cellar." Not much was unusual about it, though. Except the fact that the wines are grown and made following a combination of organic and mystical practices called "biodynamic" wine making. A bit spooky, it turns out.

The wine was good. We started our tasting with a dry sparkling, then a sweeter one. After that there were at least seven whites that we tasted, ranging from the dry to the sweet. Some were single vineyard wines, others were more generalized. All were made from chenin blanc.

They were good, but nothing that really knocked our socks off. We went away with about six or seven bottles. You feel like you've gotta buy something when they let you taste all that and they're so nice.

As I've said before, our favorite Vouvray wine is from a place called Aubert, and we left there with fifteen bottles. I won't tell you how many are left.


  1. We made a stop in Saumur at the Bouvey-Ladubay cave. They are mostly made of chenin blanc also. Most of the wines, sparkling and not, were moelleux. Well worth the visit.

  2. Don't count. Counting is dangerous, whether it is bottles, or years, or retirement accounts. Dangerous, all dangerous.

  3. Bet you don't have many bottles left by the sounds of things:-):-) as long as you enjoyed them all, that is what counts!!

  4. Here's a link from a Sonoma County winery that practices biodynamic farming. Not a shred of hocus-pocus anywhere. And the wine are pretty good.


  5. I keep forgetting to mention whether you've ever been to this little restaurant in Paris called Charter? It was awesome. It's an old workers restaurant that's apparently popular among the locals? Paris is so huge you've probably got NO idea what I'm talking about :)

  6. rachael, I really like sparkling Saumur, as well as the reds they make over there.

    papa, good advice. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that...

    anne, oh yes, each and every one was enjoyed.

    susan, thanks! But I thought the hocus-pocus was integral to the biodynamic process?

    evol, yes, Chartier. I first went in 1981. Been back countless times since.

  7. My husband was colleagues with a woman from the Chidaine family when we lived in the area. Needless to say, we drank plenty of their wine and found it excellent. I'm not sure they were into the biodynamics at the time, though.


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