France From Inside Cycling and Wine Tours France

Cycling, Wine and Cultural Tours in the Dordogne, Pyrenees and Southwest of France.

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Chateau de Pitray
Chateau de Pitray

"I've participated in a number of cycling trips with various companies and cycling at Chateau de Pitray during the Wine Harvest has been my best experience to date. First of all, Allan and his family are amazing hosts. They made us feel immediately comfortable, at home and part of their family. Secondly, Chateau de Pitray is magnificent. The building, the rooms and the grounds are beautiful. My wife, who is a professional artist, was so inspired that she created 11 oil painting in the week we stayed there. That's what Pitray will do to you. Third, the food and wine is exquisite. The meals we enjoyed at the Chateau and local restaurants were wonderful. The winery tours and tasting's were fun, interesting and added to the overall experience."

Pat Corpora

Lined up and ready to enjoy, Saint Emilion Grand Cru the village of Saint Emilion no doubt.

The proper way to taste and appreciate a glass of wine. Don't just pour, swirl and swig it !

Stop ! Before you take a sip of your wine take the time to appreciate all of its qualities. A lot of effort and skill went in to producing your wine, so don't skip the details of how to properly enjoy it. The subtleties of a little foreplay can make a lot of difference. Here's how to do it right ...actually, before I tell you what to do, here is what you shouldn't do: "Pour, Twirl, and Swig." If you do that, then you skipped 4 steps already. So, the five steps to tasting wine and presenting yourself as a somewhat sophisticated wine drinker are:

  1. Look at the wine in your glass before you do anything. Look at the color of the wine. Different varietals of grapes produce different colors, so if you are drinking a Bordeaux red it had better have a dark red color ...otherwise something is wrong.
  2. Look at the 'legs of the wine." I have to admit this step is mostly for show, as the legs only confirm that there is alcohol in your wine.
  3. Wait, don't twirl it yet!! Smell it first. This is called the "first nose," and it is your first opportunity to get an idea of the wine's taste and perfumes. What aromas do you smell?
  4. Now twirl it, and then smell it again. This is called the "second nose" and this time around you should smell more and stronger aromas. The process of twirling your wine in the glass releases more of the wine molecules into the air, and it is an important moment for you to pick up on the potential of the wine.
  5. Last and most important, now taste it.

Follow these steps and you will not only enjoy your wine more, but you will begin to appreciate and crave for a better understanding of what it is you are tasting and smelling in the wine. You may not be a "master taster," but at least you can look like one.

Tasting wine at Chateau Pitray Bordeaux

Mr. Boigne offers a tasting of his Chateau de Pitray wine after the tour of the Pitray winery