Just happened to discover a wine store that is a vivid reminder of the time wine was delivered horsedrawn in casks in and around Paris , and sold directly for consumption .
This store was founded in 1894 by Charles-Pierre Fillot and Leon Fillot in Gentilly , just outside Paris near "Porte d'Italie" . It is still at the same address : 22 Avenue Raspail , Gentilly (ph 01 49 86 04 04) , easy to find on the Gentilly map (runs between the orange and the purple zone), you could even walk from "Porte d'Italie" , I think .
At this time Gentilly had 4 wine dealers , as being just outside Paris exempted the dealers from the taxes levied on wine delivered directly from the wine regions to Paris .
At the beginning , "Etablissements Fillot" bought large volumes of wine to have it aged in casks and delivered to cafes and restaurants in Paris . You still can see today the huge casks and the vats used at the beginning of the 20 th century .
Today , Jacques Fillot still sells wine , though mainly in bottles . He has a very large selection of wines , including big names of different wine regions .
He also operates a restaurant nearby : "Aux Foudres de Bacchus" ( ph: 0033 (0)1 46 63 77 30 )
But what made us come in the first place , was the tasting event "journees portes ouvertes" organized by Alain Segelle there to honour the newly gained AOC Appellation by the Valencay wines (last november). Valencay will organize festivities next september 4-5 to honour the event .
Valencay wine is one of the Loire Valley wines . Valencay wine region is located just north of Valencay , and on the south bank of the Cher river . This is about 70 km east of Tours .
The Valencay region is the first to have an AOC label for two products , the goat cheese and the wine .
Valencay is famous for its chateau , a well preserved 16 th century chateau that was the home of Napoleon Bonaparte's minister Talleyrand . Talleyrand's furniture , paintings and personal belongings have been preseved , as the estate grounds and the gardens . Valencay can be reached by train from Paris (train change in Salbris) .
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Francis Jourdain and Mr Gibault
So , for the occasion , several Valencay wine producers had made the trip . I personally know several of them as I regularly visit them with my good old Citroen Ami 8 to buy wine . On the left is Sebastien Vaillant , from the "Vignerons Reunis" , located in Fontguenand . On the right : Regis Mandard , from Domaine des Champieux in Lye , close to Couffi . Some others I know, did'nt come this time . I have spent some time with Francis Jourdain to take pictures of his harvest , once . It took place in Lye , one of the villages , with Meusnes , were Valencay Appellation stands . It was a hand harvest day , like some producers set to enjoy it with family and friends . And I have memorable souvenirs of the harvest in the "Clos du Chateau de Valencay" (the Valencay Chateau also has vineyards ...) with Hubert Sinson leading the ceremonies .It is usually in the first days of october and it is hand made in good company with music , some good things to eat , and , most important , the "bernache" , wich is the wine juice , or "new wine" , so sweet and delicious (so easy to drink, but beware , this is wine)... And the vineyard is in plain view of the Chateau . Even when it rains it is a great day . The wine wich comes from this vineyard is for sale in the Chateau gift store . And this is a good wine . I plan to see this once more this year ...
In the Valencay region , wine producers make Valencay, red and white, but also Touraine wine with one grape variety , Cot, Cabernet , or Sauvignon for example . The also make traditional method sparkling wine .