Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Le Vieux Moulin: Open House

When Chéri asked me to give him a hand on my day off with an open house he was organising at our friend's vineyard at Virollet, I immediately said yes. Not because I'd be getting to spend the day wandering around the vines, learning about asparagus, tasting the grapes and drinking free cognac. Just because I am a kind and considerate copine...
Le Vieux Moulin is one of those places I instantly felt a connection to when arriving in France. The peaceful and idyllic setting of the old windmill and farmhouse buildings nestled into acres of vines and asparagus plants, combined with the generosity and warmth of the proprietors, the Perrochain family, keep me wanting to come back and visit the domain again and again.

Le Vieux Moulin

The aim of the open house was to create an event based on the produce found at Le Vieux Moulin, and notably the pineau and cognac, giving the visitors a chance to see the whole process from the grapes to the bottle. This idea of going directly to the farm to meet the producers and thus promoting local business is something I am passionate about and I think the guests from Chéri's holiday village really enjoyed the afternoon, not least because of the clear and interesting explanations given by the Vieux Moulin staff.

Laetitia showing us how to harvest asparagus.
The visit of the vines and the chai (the place where grapes are turned into wine and eventually into pineau or cognac) left everyone a bit peckish and thirsty. An apéro champêtre prepared by myself comprised of asparagus tart, rillettes, country ham, olives and cheese helped to sustain the troops and luckily the Perrochains were on hand to fill up everyone's glass with a drop of pineau or a cocktail à la pêche. The visitors were then free to stock up on gifts for the family and souvenirs of the rich gastronomy found in the region.

Apéro champêtre

A fun, delicious and enriching experience to be repeated with even more guests the next time!

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