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Work in the vineyard in Chinon

Last weekend we spent two thoroughly enjoyable Discovery Experience Days in the vineyard at Château de la Bonnelière in Chinon.  The winemaker, Marc Plouzeau, was with us to explain and show us what is involved in being a winemaker.

We started the day in the Clos de la Bonnelière, the vineyard where the adopted vines of the Gourmet Odyssey clients are located. We took a few minutes to find our vines before getting down to more serious matters!

A couple of winemakers in the vineyard

Marc brought us up to date with all of the work that has already been carried out in the vineyard during the winter to protect them from the cold, and to prune them in time for this year's campaign.

The vines are presently about three weeks behind a normal year, so we are still in the process of de-budding and raising the training wires. Marc explained the importance of de-budding to ensure better quality grapes come harvest time by removing the canes that won't produce any fruit or those that will just sap energy from the plant. Then it was time for us to get stuck in!

Marc the winemaker of the Château de la Bonnelière in Chinon

Marc also showed us how to raise the training wires to better support the vine branches and the weight of the grapes to come. We raised the wires and attached them together using clips.

Raising the training wire

And for the more courageous, we also used some hoes to remove the weeds from around the feet of the vines that the plough blade couldn't get to. It's a physical job, but helps to open up the taste buds for the wine tasting!

Removing the weeds from around the feet of the vines

As an aperitif, Marc opened his delicious "Perle Sauvage" sparkling white wine. It's a natural wine with nothing added to it... 100% pure fruit!

During the meal, we continued the tasting with a range of the organic white and red wines that the winery produces, including the "Clos de la Bonnelière", which is the wine selected by Gourmet Odyssey and which won gold medal at the Millésime Bio organic wine fair this year.

Wines tasting during the winemaker meal

After lunch, we headed to the vinification hall, where Marc showed us the fermentation tanks, and introduced us to the work in the chai.

In the vinification hall

The day finished in the winery's cellar which is located directly underneath the Chinon Fortress. In this magical place, we discovered the barrels used to age the wines, the thousands of bottles that are resting, and the machine used to turn the bottles of sparkling wine.

In the cellar
Many thanks to Marc and to all the clients who shared this happy moment with us.


  • Hi and thanks to Marc & Mark. Meeting people who are passionate about what they do is always enjoyable! We had a most enjoyable day. We wish Marc all the best and a long life to Gourmet Odyssey!

    Kind regards

    Jean Marc

  • A few months later, I still have great memories of this thoroughly enjoyable day. It was very instructive in learning about the work of a winemaker, and we met some very nice other people with whom we appreciate something in common - good wine!

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The Gourmet Odyssey Wine Experience

Adopt a Vine in France and Follow the Making of Your Own Wine !

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