Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015 - St. Cyprien & Pécharmant

Sunday means market day in St. Cyprien and there are always a few groceries to get at the Carrefour grocery store. This time we're determined to get to Carrefour before it closes at noon. Last Sunday, we forgot to stop after the market and Dave went back arriving at the store at 11:55. With no announcement, they started pulling metal grates over the frozen food sections. He grabbed a few items and then had to make his way to the front of the store to check out as they were shutting off the lights starting from the back of the store.

We walk the whole market so Judy can see all the stalls. She found a market basket to buy.
Judy at St. Cyprien market

We remembered to go to the Carrefour supermarket on our way home, so didn't risk getting locked in for arriving too late. Once home, we eat lunch and then head out for the Pécharmant wine region of Bergerac. We've been drinking Pécharmants bought at the grocery store and really like them.  They are full bodied red wines. Clark and I studied the Bergerac region wine map to find wineries that are open on Sundays. We try to make a couple of phone calls, but get answering machines. So, we take a chance and head out.

Our first stop is Corbiac. They're open.

The woman speaks excellent English and has a lot to tell us about their history and operation. We also had a long conversation in French as she was telling us some of their family history. What a delightful hostess. Mme de Corbiac's husband ran the vineyard until his death around 2008 and now her son continues the family tradition of these cousins of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Mme de Corbiac
They farm 17 hectares (about 40 acres) and are working to become modernized both in equipment and in marketing. We taste white and rosés of Bergerac (for which they are distributors rather than growers) and red Pécharmant. Judy's favorite wine was the white Cyrano de Bergerac wine. We bought 6 bottles - 2 whites, a red and 3 reds and went on our way.

Château Corbiac with our car in the lot

Next stop was Château Hugon.
Wine cave of Château Hugon
Clark in front of Château Hugon vineyard

As we drove up, a man came out of a back shed and, after washing his hands, let us into the cave and tasting room.  This was the owner, who only spoke French, and who warmed to us as we showed genuine interest in his winemaking.  He's the proprietor and vigneron of the property, which was purchased by his great-grandfather. He's passionate about his wines and his winemaking. He had 4 hectares (about 10 acres) which he managed on his own. He didn't care a bit about marketing and sold his average 8000 bottles per year yield locally either at his place or through a couple local shops.
French oak barrels used to age the Pécharmant of
Château Hugon

Janis, Judy, Dave, Lynn and the vintner. He looks très sérieux, n'est-ce pas?
His wines were really nice and we went away with 6 bottles of Pécharmant from him as well.

Judy paying for the wine

Home again we had the "moules" (mussels) we had bought at the market in the morning. And I made another bread pudding for dessert since we had another bagful of remains from our baguettes.
Mussels from the market

Another day of exploring the region and drinking in (literally) the cuisine of the region.
Dave and Clark congratulating each other on another great wine day.
You don't really want to know what tomfoolery was going on just then.

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