Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chusclan: Wednesday 6th May 2009

After picking up some bread and ham for lunch we headed off on a walk to a vineyard of the senses and a castle.

Just out of the village of Chusclan an area had been ravaged by forest fire in 1992 and then again in 1999. Rather than replanting in pine forest it was decided by the local vignerons to plant vines to break up the forest blocks for future fires and to showcase wines to those on their way to the Château de Gicon.

They took the approach of walking around the vines and providing sights and smells of the area – detailing which varieties of grape were planted, detailing the colours they would be, planting plants that provided the smells wines have – peach blackberry etc and also highlighting the plants of the area. One we found interesting to be a highlight was Broom…but otherwise it was a interesting venture and good luck to them.

We continued up to the Château de Gicon. We didn’t know a lot about it and there wasn’t a lot of information after we climbed the hill up there.

But it was a great castle to visit. It had atmosphere that many perfectly maintained castles just don’t have. It is in good condition in some parts and in others in rubble showing the ravages of time. It does date from the 11th or 12th centuries and has a 360˚ view over the countryside. It doesn’t appear to receive a huge number of visitors and there are no admission fees, one can just wander around

Interestingly for dinner we had a bottle of wine picked at random which had come from the town of Chusclan – just a little co-incidence for the day.

The weather today was superb, sun shining and the mistral had dropped. It was hot work walking up when the temperature was at least 27˚ and we were definitely rather tired by the end of the day.

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