Medieval France and Cave Wine Tasting
This week has been absolutely magical. Tuesday, I had the day off of school, so I visited Medieval Angers, a part of the city that has been completely maintained since it's creation, in the early 1300s. This area includes a stunningly beautiful château, and a village that has been restored to look and feel exactly as it did hundreds of years ago. Walking through the streets of this district is unreal, and I honestly felt like I could have stepped into a medieval life there.
After spending Tuesday in this fascinating part of the city, I knew that the excursion Friday would be enchanting. Village Troglodytique, also in the Loire Valley in France about an hour drive from Angers, features 250 underground caves that were used as homes from the 13th century to the 19th century. The dwellings below the surface included barns for livestock, a wine cellar, a stable, a bedroom, a dining room, and a village hall. I was also able to look at and use some of the tools made by habitants who lived there, including a casse-cou wine press, which was a grape-pressing tool to help make wine. Another fascinating tool was the walnut oil extraction press, which actually took a lot of physical labor to operate. This part of the day was fun, but the day truly just got better and better. Next, we traveled to take a tour of the local winery, called Veuve Amiot, where they have produced wine underground in caves since 1884. They still use a lot of the same methods of production, but have updated their tools to make the tasks easier and more efficient. We walked along the cave pathways for an informative hour long tour, and found out that we didn't even walk a 10th of the area for production. These caves run for miles and miles, creating some of the best wine in the world.
Wine tasting here was lovely, and my favorite was the Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut. This sparkling wine with a sweet finish was the perfect mix of tart, sweet, and sparkling. After the winery tour, we headed to the stunning castle of the Anjou area. Although we only spent a short time here, the view of the city from the castle with the river below was too marvelous for words.
As if the day could get any better, we finished our excursion with a gourmet dinner in an underground cave. Serving unique and incredibly delicious freshly baked breads in which you hand-stuffdifferent foods, including butters, cheeses, beans, meats, and mushrooms, I feel like I died and went to heaven. This day was one of the best days of my life, and I feel so grateful to be experiencing such a life.