Wonderful Wine!
Fall grapes


  What do we love most about life in France?


Wow- that's a hard question to answer! As we head to le Muguet and Provence this week, high on our list would be the role that grapes and wine play in our life adventures over there. Will you share some of your own wine adventures with me? Please send YOUR STORIES to Ginny at  fpshares@gmail.com

At a small vineyard near Vers Pont du Gard, Amy Lillard and Matt Kling have been livng the dream in southern France since 2005. Amy's dad happens to live a few doors down from  us at le Muguet and welcomed us to share in their harvest at La Gramiere this season, Pourquoi pas??

Here's the La Gramiere story:
 We bought 4.5 hectares of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre in 2004 and we have since Amy & Matt in vineyardpruned and converted part of our house in to a very small winery. I spent 3 years working in the vineyards of Gevrey-Chambertin following by 3 wonderful  years at Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant in Berkeley, Ca. We now live in St. Quentin La Poterie near the beautiful town of Uzes in southern France. My husband Matt works for Cisco Systems but his heart is truly in the vineyards. We have decided to farm organically and biodynamically!


Les 3  Tomates
 Says Günter Hutter of Les 3 Tomates: "One has to have three times as much fun by wine making: handling the vines in the vineyards, drinking the wine and describing its qualities."

les 3 tomates 

Dale and I recall another Languedoc harvest season in 2003 when we lived near Maison Bleue in the village of Quarante. One September day we opted to pick grapes for Les 3 Tomates Vineyard. Their focus was on high end wine and the 3 owners (German, French, and Belgian) seems to work in perfect harmony. It was an idyllic fall day- our kids were in the French lycee, we clipped grapes under a perfect Indian summer sky and life was good. Our surprise came as we hopped aboard the farm tractor and headed for the impressive courtyard near the country estate which belonged to one of the owners. As we looked at our watches, wondering when we needed to be on board for the next job, our very genteel proprietor came over to our table and inquired about whether we'd like a café. I looked at my watch and replied "Do we have time?" He kindly asserted "In France, we have lots of work and lots of time".

The Man from Madiron 



Speaking of lots of time and lots of work, I couldn't help but be fascinated with the September article in France Today magazine called The Man from Madiran.


Ginny & Ron toasting 



"At first glance there's nothing remarkable about the vast chai at Chateau Montus where Alain Brumont's wines lie quietly maturing in row upon row of oak barrels. But then it hits you. Or rather it doesn't: the musky aroma that permeates most wine cellars is absent. The polished granite floor is so clean you could serve a hearty Gascon meal on it."

"In The New France, wine writer Andrew Jefford described Brumont as the Citizen Kane of the French wine world. Ambitious, irascible and disputatious, Brumont is a single-mineded perfectionist" 
"Winemaker Brumont has transformed the tannat (grape) and in the process, almost single-handedly transformed Madiron into France's most cutting-edge wine producing region. As Robert Parker remarks: "These wines are so complete they cannot be ignored." Adds Steven Spurrier: "The wines of Brumont are at the same level as Chateau Latour".



Last week I got a phone call from Gregory Mose, a property finder in the Lot Region of France. In the process of researching an article about how fractional ownership is faring in these often rocky economic times, he wanted to pick my brain. I gave him my two cents worth! He emailed back hoping to perhaps visit our first Lot/Dordogne area home share, La Bruyere, (1998) thinking that a fireside chat with owners might be worthwhile.

Sure enough, one Oregon phone call later, Rod and Gerta P said "no problem" and I put their two heads together. It's rewarding to me to realize that nearly 12 years later, owners like this family have woven a web of memories they truly treasure. Rod also suggested that I should check out what had been happening with the 12th century Chateau Thenac, right behind our home there. See for yourself how a billionaire from Russia can transform 200 hectares of vineyards into an enjoyable hobby. Wow! 
Read on... 
Interested in living the dream in France?
Contact: Ginny Blackwell
French Property Shares
(001) 585 905-0849
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French Property Shares
36 Howell St
Canandaigua, New York 14424
(001) 585 905-0849