“Where has winter gone? Spring is now here”
Well, I have been having those lovely glasses of Gaillac wine in front of the fire and indeed outside. Winter has been so mild………….. Where has the time gone? We are in March and another lovely sunny day, although we had some rain in February but fortunately nothing like those in the West Country in the UK; our thoughts are with all those having to deal with the ordeal of the floods in the UK.
We have had some super days skiing in the Pyrenees mountains and as mentioned in a previous newsletter, being so close, we can always check on the weather and if it’s sunny we go and it isn’t we don’t – simple!! Have a look at these wonderful pictures of Ax Les Thermes which is only an hour and a half from Durantie. My daughter left the house at 6.30am and was on the slopes at 9.00am and was back home by 7.30 in the evening having had a delightful day on the slopes. Of course if you want to go slightly further afield then Baqueira just across the Spanish border is a more extensive resort and is still only three hours from Durantie – we tend to stay in one of the villages below the resort and enjoy the Spanish hospitality of tapas and gorgeous Riojas from which there are some 1500 to choose – the hotels are very reasonably priced at €45 a night; a totally different culture, a matter of a few hours from our door step!
We’ve been enjoying our “fizz on Fridays” with all our mates here getting together for a spontaneous few glasses of “fizz” which is made locally, method Gaillacois.
We’ve just had a most relaxing and very French Sunday lunch time in one of the local bars in Gaillac which typifies this area, a warm welcome and a couple of hours of banter over several plates of oysters, bought freshly from the market and opened by the barman, served with a local crisp chardonnay and the topics of conversation ranging from the local elections to who played well in which match of the Six Nations – the French equivalent to a “pint and a sandwich” in your local but with sunshine!
We had several clients over the winter and have been delighted at the number of reservations we have taken. Everyone who visits for the first time cannot believe how lovely it is here , even in winter – they have a real treat in store when spring does come!
The Six Nations has been interesting this year, and having been fortunate enough to go to the France v England game at the start of the tournament, a friend of mine and I took advantage of the very frequent and extremely reasonable airfares from Toulouse to Paris. Soon we’ll be able to travel to Paris on the TGV in two and half hours, such is the connectivity of the Tarn! We didn’t get the result we wanted but a good comprise for those of us who support Stade Toulouse was that the three French tries were all scored by Stade Toulouse players Huget and Fickou – “allez les rouge et noir”!!
We will be putting diggers on the ground in April, such has been the progress we’ve made with reservations which is very pleasing and everyone is very excited at the prospect.
We’ve just launched the Durantie wine and very drinkable it is too……with the very distinctive turquoise duck gracing each bottle, we’re thrilled with it – come and see us and do some tasting! There are several different cepages which are unique to Gaillac, this ancient of wine regions: Our Durantie white is a Mauzac Sauvignon blend and the red Cabernet Duras.
And for those of you that perhaps might enjoy some retail therapy when the weather is not quite at its best, then do as my wife and daughter have done and venture forth to Toulouse and give the “credit card” a good “seeing to” whether it is ZARA or GEORGE REICH – all the major brands are here – with bags galore reward yourself with lunch in one of the many delightful restaurants like Capoul, Pere Louis or just a mouthful of beautifully fresh sea food in the Victor Hugo market in the centre of Toulouse.
Anyway, winter is very much over with cowslips, violets and primroses adorning the roadsides. Next week we have temperatures up in the 20C so leaves will be bursting forth. It is a super time of year. Please come and see us.
With best wishes to all.