Purple Palate Blog

Day 18 – Paris to Buxy… viva la revolution

So. You know how the French like a good protest? Had our taxi booked for 8 am to collect our car at Orly airport, only to get a phone call at 7.20am to say they had cancelled the booking due to the planned nationwide protests over the fuel taxes. Major blockades were planned for all major roads and cities… that would include Paris. Our concierge asked if we would be happy for a different time… sure we said… no problem we said… 5 minutes later we get the call that we leave in 5 minutes, or not at all. No […]

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Day 14- Marc Bredif and the Tyre saga

Up for our meeting at Marc Bredif in Vouvray. We breakfasted in the beautiful dining room at our accomodation and then got in the car to go. PUNCTURE warning!!! Not something you want see at 110 km/hr. We pulled off and looked at the tyre. Seemed fine, maybe a sensor issue? We drove again, screaming warnings, we pulled off and checked, still fine. Okay better be safe, changed the tyre, now running very late. Got back in the car, the spare is one of those smaller space saver tyres, so no speeding here. Wended our way to Vouvray for our […]

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Day 12 – Bordeaux to Loire

Up early to head off to Loire. Feeling a little wrung out after a huge day yesterday. After a full day touring Bordeaux, I took Roz to the 2 hatted la Tupina in Bordeaux for a birthday dinner to remember. Yeah memorable, just not in a good way. Amazing space, built around a massive central hearth. Perfect after a drizzly day. Then came €25 for a plate of mushrooms… just mushrooms… nothing else, followed by the toughest piece of chicken in creation. Seriously, a Roz couldn’t cut it with a steak knife. The sorbet was delicious, but too little too […]

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Day 13- Chinon, and Saumur

Up and out late to check out Saumur region. We drove 20 minutes towards the west and pulled into a great little restaurant for a €13 lunch, then on to Chateau De Targe who produce Saumur AOC and Saumur-Champigny AOCwines. We met an awesomely knowledgeable lady who spoke no English and who schooled me on the Saumur region and French generally. Saumur soils are limestone particularly the Tuffeau, and this Chateau sits on a massive ridge line of limestone, with the “old house” half buried into the mountain. It seems the norm around here, with palatial chateaus carved into the […]

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Day 11 – Bordeaux with a Parisian

Up at 6.30. Apparently they have one of those in the morning as well!! Into Bordeaux (via car, tram and foot… got the tram thing nailed now) to meet up with Christophe, our guide for a full day tour of Medoc and St Emilion. Christophe has been lending his knowledge of Bordeaux wines to clients through his company Bordeaux Top Growth for the past 3 years since moving to the region from Paris with his wife and 2 daughters. Software engineer to Bordeaux wine guide, now that’s a man with his priorities straight. Wended our way to the Medoc region […]

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Day 10 – Cote du Bordeaux, Blaye, and Cote du Bourg

We awoke and had a leisurely breakfast and wandered out to do some tastings in our local area of Blaye. We were recommended to Chateau Monconseil-Gazin, and were welcomed with open arms. We walked the vineyards and talked about weather, grapes, soil, and disease pressures in the vineyard. The vineyard has Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc, with clay and limestone soils, and is organic grown (no chemical pesticides or herbicides). We were led to the barrel room to see the maturation area and talk about the oak- all reds get 12 to 18 months in […]

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Day 9 – Bordeaux

Off to Bordeaux today. Travelling via car (reversing down parking ramp, then wrong way down one way bus ramp), then tram, then bus, then walking into the Cite de Vin. Yet another amazing building, this time inspired by a decanter. They really know how to do impressive structures over here. Paid our 20 euro and headed into the fantastically set up museum and educational centre devoted to the wonderful world of wine. It was brilliant for anyone interested in or learning about wine. I learnt a lot in the time I was there, with everything from wine from the vine […]

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Day 8 – Logrono to Blaye

Do not believe Google Map for a second. 4 hours it said, no problem it said. Yeah. 7 hours and $50 in tolls and untold years of our combined lifespan due to a combination of navigating the Pyrenees Mountains and mad French drivers later… Our first meal in France consisted of cold carrot quiche and watery creme caramel in a truck stop… Not an auspicious start (the coffee wasn’t bad). We checked into our accommodation in Blaye (50km North of the city of Bordeaux). Beautiful apartment. The epitomony of French elegance. Bloody shame it’s up 52 of the skinniest spirals […]

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Day 7 – Solar Viejo and the Bilbao Guggenheim

Woke refreshed, and starving. We made our own breakfast (only vegetables for the day). We organised ourselves for a meeting at Bodegas Solar Viejo in Laguardia (with much thanks to Greg Pithers-The Wine Traveller). We were met by Vanesa Perez, who’s command of English was impeccable, surpassed only by her knowledge of their wines. Okay strap in, here is Rioja in a nutshell. Rioja is divided into 3 regions, Rioja Baja, and Rioja Alta in La Rioja, and a Rioja Alavesa in Basque Country, delineated by the Ebro River. Therefore Alavesa is in 2 parts, separated by Rioja Alta. Each […]

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Day 6 – Wine, Dine, Sleep

So we truely don’t understand how the days work in Spain. Breakfast is a nonevent, hell even buying bread is bloody hard. Lunch doesn’t start til 2, and jet lag, stress, not understanding language takes it’s toll. In desperation we walked into a restaurant Tondeluna, which looked open and inviting. 6 long tables, with glasses and settings. Seemed a little cafeteria like, but looked very swish. We ordered a 3 course shared meal, and Roz googled it. It seems it is a Michelin’s star restaurant by Chef Francis Paniego. Who has 2 or 3 other top restaurants. Okay we did […]

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