A group of 19 of us travelled to the beautiful town of St. Emilion to visit Les Cordeliers a producer of a unique sparkling white and rose wine using the traditional method. The cellars are housed in a 14th Century cloister which is being sympathetically renovated by the owners and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We met up on a pleasant sunny morning outside Les Cordeliers before being taken by the guide into the gardens and cloister. Having viewed the quadrangle we entered a small room that had been renovated at the cost of €1,000! and you didn’t get a roof for that! The next stage was moving through to the remains of the church and then down a sharp slope into the vault below which are the wine cellars.
As we went through the underground passages which extended some 3 kilometres. The guide explained how this unique wine was produced over a period of years. It was also made clear that this wine was exclusive as no bottles are exported or sold in supermarkets, bottles of the different varieties could only be purchased from the shop and using this form of merchandising it took approximately 18 months to sell any one vintage.
Then we reached the best bit of our visit – the tasting. Five different sparkling wines were on offer accompanied by St. Emilion macaroons. At the conclusion the legs were getting weak but the voices were getting strong, a testament to the quality of wine on offer. Like good wine we then decanted ourselves to a local Creperie, Le Trouher, which was full of character and atmosphere. By this time the weather had slightly deteriorated which precluded us from dining on the terrace overlooking the town, however, it did not cause any inconvenience as the wine and cider flowed just as well inside as well as out. The lady chef did a wonderful job producing the most delicious freshly made crepes for us all. The waiter kept us all amused with his jokes and friendly character.
The visit had an excellent blend of interest, good food and fellowship and judging by the noise and laughter in the Creperie was enjoyed by all. A huge thankyou to Norma Brooks and Colette Gibson for organising this great day out.
Report by Roger F. Photos by Gary B.
(Les Cordeliers are based in the heart of St Emilion and is in the centre of a well preserved 14th cloister this spectacular site includes gardens and a network underground cellars. Les Cordeliers have been producing superior sparkling wines since 1982 and is the only sparkling produced in the St Emilion region. We have organised a guided tour of the underground cellars together with a degustation of the delicious sparkling wines and a walk around the cloisters and gardens. This will start at 11am, a charge of 8€ is payable there.
Following the visit to Les Cordeliers we will be having a lunch at a local restaurant and will around 20 to 25 € per person including 3 courses and wine.)