Saturday, October 2, 2010

Château du Petit Thouars: Wine and Twitter

It started with a tweet from our friend, founder of Corkbin: she mentioned we were going to the Loire Valley in September and she quickly received a response from @ChâteauPetitThouars suggesting we visit their winery while we were there.

It turned out the winery was in our area, so we decided to make sure we stopped by. Once we found the turnoff, we drove up a lovely tree lined driveway.  Chateau du Petit Thouars sits up on a the hill at the end of driveway with astonishing views from the top. The grounds are immaculate and the chateau appears to be very well maintained.

We were greeted by Gwendoline Pinard, daughter of Michel Pinard, the winemaker at the Chateau. She provided us a tour of part of the chateau - absolutely gorgeous! I was completely envious of the library and took tons of pictures. I may just sneak back and move in there...the dining room alone was enough to convince me.

After the tour we had our wine tasting across the courtyard. Cabernet franc is the ruling grape in Loire Valley, but we did start with two sparkling wines. Both were delightful though I preferred the Cremant de Loire Brut over the rose. Rose's tend to suffer from my American bias against them - I think "too sweet" and syrupy due to all those bottles of Gallo running around in my Mid-western background. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find the roses in Loire were dry, not sweet.

The tasting room
 My favorite was the Touraine 2005. I was impressed by how smooth it was, though I think it will benefit from a bit more aging. In general I found the tasting wines in Loire to all be a bit young - probably a factor of cabernet franc and the style of wine-making in France. Since I have a hard time not drinking wine if it is in my house, I need the older wines right away.

We truly had a wonderful visit - and it was the power of social media that brought us to this place.  We would not have found the Chateau without Twitter. It is an interesting meeting of the old world and the new when social media allows a winery to reach a potential audience and customers.  Traveling wine tasters are alerted to places they may not have found in a guidebook. Overall, it feels like a good thing all around. If you have an iPhone (and Android devices soon), check out the Corkbin App. It brings this theory to another level, allowing you to see what wines people near you are drinking and their feedback on them.

-- Happy Travels!

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