Between the rivers and the Côtes
By Jane Anson
This Guide was last updated on 03 March 2010
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Address: 5 Les Mourriers,
33820 Saint Palais
Tel: 05 57 32 66 54 Fax: 05 57 32 78 78
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 45:17:47N (45.29641) Longitude: -0:35:19W (-0.58871)
This château won the Jury’s Prize at the 2009 Best of Wine Tourism awards, for their innovative approach to wine tourism. Owned by the charming and enthusiastic Jerome and Valerie Eymas, La Rose Bellevue lies about 24km from the Charente border, so there is a possibility to combine this with a visit to Cognac. Both hosts have lived and worked in vineyards in Australia, Chile and Argentina, and have a global perspective on winemaking that is worth delving into during your visit. Jerome has also worked in Champagne, and says that he learnt meticulous cleanliness in the cellars from the Champagneois, and the tricks of cold maceration and use of inert gases to combat oxidation from the Australians – these are knowledgeable winemakers, now concentrating their efforts on a humble Côtes de Blaye.
Useful information: Here they have embraced wine tourism, no doubt inspired by their time in Australia. There is a ‘Secret Garden’ within the grounds where you can take a picnic to enjoy with their wines, making this a good visit for families. Free tour and tasting, Monday to Friday from 14.00-17.00 (no need to call ahead, but as this is so far off the beaten track, I recommend that you check first). Through the summer months, they also run wine and seafood tastings on a boat that sails around the Gironde Estuary – book ahead, as they are popular (and of course depend on the weather). Groups welcome, by appointment. English spoken.
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