Archive for September 2011

Verteillac and grapes

Lalinde Marché des fleurs

Cheri at Lalinde Marché des fleurs

One of our other ‘ sidelines ‘ is selling outdoor furniture. We import from Italy a range of wrought iron tables and chairs made by RetiGritti in Lombardie. They produce products for a wide range of price points but we only stock their premium range which is coated with an anti rust treatment called cataforésé, the same system used for treating car bodies. We also import a range of marble and wrought iron bistro tables. Apart from selling from our property, we promote and sell at many of the village markets & brocantes. It’s a delightful way to spend some time and a reasonably effective way to get some sales.

Verteillac Sunday Brocante

This Sunday I went to Verteillac, a delightful village about 20 minutes north of Riberac on the way to Angôuleme. On the first weekend of every month they host a brocante. We have to be there by 06:30 to set up for the day, once you are in place it’s impossible to leave ( you are blocked in by other traders ) before the market closes, usually around 17:00 or 18:00 so it’s a long day with approx 1.5 hours drive each way. This Sunday was a good day with a huge amount of interest and discussions that will hopefully lead into a few sales. Surprising for the beginning of autumn ! We had 3 very heavy rain storm / squalls rush through drenching many of our fellow store holders stock. A lady next to me lost her complete table of china when a gust of wind twisted her ‘ sun ‘ umbrella and pushed the table over, on my other side a lady with 100’s of pieces of beautiful 2nd hand linen ended up with boxes of sodden stock….lucky for us, our rust treated outdoor furniture stood the test !!!

Saturday was our harvest day ( not that we have a big plantation ) and from our modest mix of green and black vines we harvested around 60 kilo of beautiful sweet grapes. To help ease the burden of 60 kilo of grapes we put a table piled high with fruit on the footpath offering free grapes to any passing citizens and were able to give away 50 odd kilo and the rest Cheri put through the juicer and made into juice…talk about a sugar hit, definitely NOT for diabetics.

Some of our grape harvest, Sept 2011

The juice was the most intense muscat flavour, we think our white grapes are a mix of semillon and chasselas and the red grapes perhaps merlot.

 

Day trips, Circuit 2 from Maison Porte del Marty in Lalinde

Today we will head to Bergerac and South of Lalinde into part of the very large wine growing area of the Dordogne.

Cyrano de Bergerac

Bergerac has a charming ' old town ' that winds it's way down to the river, with a wide choice of outside restaurants and cafés, it's a great place to walk around and then take a café for a bit of people watching. With it's Maison des Vins and Musée du Tabac and the fabled Cyrano, there are some interesting places to get a better understanding of the region. The Dordogne has literally 1000's of old tobacco barns, built from stone or timber, these medium sized, high roofed barns have adjustable ventilators along their sides to manage the air-flow for drying tobacco leaf. The farmers were paid by dry weight. Today, most of these barns sit empty or are convered into holiday houses as the period of tobacco growing has more or less left this region. The cigarette factory in Bergerac which produced the famous Gitane and Gauloisse has left and the tobacco growing industry collapsed with this departure of the factory.

From Bergerac we will head to Monbazillac with it's beautiful Chateau and commanding view over the Dordogne valley. Monbazillac is famous for it's luscious sweet white wine made from sun kissed Semillon grapes, it really is a nectar of the gods. Used extensively when eating foie gras or with one of the many local cheeses, you must try this and free samplings are available at the cellar in front of Chateau Monbazillac . From Monbazillac we will head to Sadillac, a pretty médiéval village and well worth a stop. We then drive through Singleyrac, Flaugeac, Fonroque, to Ste-Eulalie-d'Eymet towards the Lac (Lake) L'Escourroux for a stop at the look out then head back to

Eymet

Eymet, a French Bastide town and fortified Chateau. Today, Eymet is very popular with the British, with a very large permanent population along with the many summer visitors. There are some excellent restaurants on the square and it's a pretty place to sit in the shade, enjoy some excellent local cuisine and admire the surrounding buildings. After our stop here we head off again driving through Razac d'Eymet, St Aubin- de-Cadelech, St Capraise-d'Eymet, Plaissance to stop at Issigeac. This is one of the delights in the area. A médiéval village built on a ' spoke ' design with fabulous stone and wood houses overhanging the small lanes. The village is used extensively for '

Issigeac

period ' TV and Movie production and their Sunday morning market is a real treat, perhaps a bit busy in the summer season but a great atmosphere. It also has a more recent and interesting history with the town hall being the local base for the SS during WWII. After the Normandie landing, many of the local men and members of the résistance were brutally treated then executed by the Gestapo as punishment for the strenuous efforts of the résistance to stop any local troop and tank movements (there was a large Panzer unit stationed here) towards Normandie. Mouleydier a village between Lalinde and Bergerac was bombed, then completely flattened by the German army as part of this punishment. Our property is on Rue des Martyrs du 21 Juin 1944 named in recognition of these brave local men and women.

From our visit to Issigeac we then head to Montaut, Monzac, Bayac and we are back at Port- de- Couze and approaching Lalinde and Maison Porte del Marty.

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