Friday, 25 February 2011

Daily Telegraph (uk) article on the Lot & Dordogne

Water, water everywhere… the Dordogne is one of the most impressive natural features of the region, having run its course from the Massif Central into the limestone Causse region at Souillac, and by the time it flows through the Garonne it has widened to nearly two miles from bank to bank.

Ferry boats, barges, canoes: these are the best ways to experience the Dordogne’s majestic progress to the sea, and there are these facilities in abundance, to suit every budget, too.
The Lot also dominates in the area. The country town of Cahors is the capital of the Lot département and had its heyday in the Middle Ages.
It is, however, unmissable today for its Pont Valentré, a 14th-century fortified bridge with pointed arches and three towers spanning the river, and the Cathédrale St-Étienne.

Lot & Dordogne – Daily Telegraph Link

Visit these sites on our cycling tours?

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The Americans are discovering the Dordogne at last.

Extract from The Toronto Star by Tom Fortin

It’s a lovely late spring morning and Fortin is guiding a visitor down the gentle waters of the Dordogne River. He’s pointing out old buildings that were used to cure tobacco and the crumbly cliffs along the riverbank and the nearby farms and villages dotted with magnolias and crape myrtle and fields of dreamy, bright-red/orange poppies against a background of sweeping green grass.
As we paddle, or rather let the minimal current sweep us slowly downstream, I look up and see tidy, perfect villages carved into the rock and several centuries-old, faded gold-coloured castles perched high on hilltops towering over the river.
The Dordogne isn’t a name that rolls off the tongue of North Americans like the French Riviera or Bordeaux or Burgundy. But the rich food and the small towns and wide rivers and historic castles that seemingly pop up every 10 minutes might just be the essence of what many visitors would want from a European or French vacation.

(Our cycling tours visit Roque Gageac and Sarlat)

Read the full article

Monday, 31 January 2011

A Hearty French Red for a Cold Winter’s Night – Cahors Malbec

Cahors is the ancestral home of the Malbec grape, but the wines made there are much different from the plush, fruity versions from Argentina that are so popular now. Lagrézette is a modern winery, with superstar consultant Michel Rolland (who also works in Argentina, among many other countries) advising, so you might expect a wine in the “international” style.
But whether terroir overrides the winemaking, or age brings out the truth, this was a very traditional Cahors. It was thick on the palate, with firm, almost gritty tannins, and dark flavors of iron, earth and tobacco.

Yet the wine still showed a core of bright cherry fruit, and a lively acidity kept it fresh. It had endured more than improved, resembled a solid workman more than a brilliant virtuoso, but it matched well with the gamy meat and warmed our souls from the winter’s cold. I rated it 89 points, non-blind.
Château Lagrézette Cahors 2000
Read the whole article – wine spectator

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Growing success for the wines of AOC Cahors

TheAOC Cahors is celebrating its fortieth anniversary. After a long period of declining sales figures, the succes of the “black wines” of Cahors is growing again. The combination of increased sales efforts, leaving fallow 568 acres of vineyards and less abundant crops resulted in higher export figures in 2010.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Scent of Black

Fantastic video of the Lot area and it’s food and wine.
Great video, sums up the area wonderfully. It’s difficult to describe to others the wonder of the area – this does!

GrapeRadio is proud to present a look at the Cahors region, as rightly famous for its black truffles as it is for its Malbec, a wine that exemplifies the scent of black.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Nearly got the road bike out!

So mild today I nearly got the road bike out. Then thought better of it.
Went for a run instead. I find if I run over the three worst months of winter using hills as training with a bit of mountain biking I am nearly road bike fit in late March. Then a few weeks training on the bike and I’m fit for our bike tours.