Savennières, with Evelyne de Jessey Pontbriand, 2019
Evelyne de Jessey Pontbriand and I emerged from the cool cover of the trees above the Château des Vaults (or Domaine du Closel if you prefer) into the baking heat of a warm summer’s day. Having just walked up what had turned out to be a surprisingly steep and stony slope to the vineyards above the château, aided only by a few uneven steps cut into the ground, we were both a little out of breath. And as we came out onto a grassy plain peppered with fruit trees, I was already beginning to feel the heat of the early-afternoon sun.
But I had no regrets. Despite only walking for a few minutes we had climbed very high; I had never before appreciated just how close the steep slopes and plateau of the vineyards are gathered around the town of Savennières. A short while before I had been standing in the shadow of the Château des Vaults, of which Evelyne (pictured below, as we stood up on the plateau) is proprietor; now I was looking out across the top of its slate-tiled roof, and indeed across all the rooftops of the town. With the characteristic needle-like spire of the Église Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Romain (parts of which date to the 10th century) among them, it could only be Savennières. It was a fantastic view.
Indeed, what better place could there be to learn a little bit about the history of this town and its vineyards, which are of course inevitably intertwined, and its wines. I listened as Evelyne de Jessey Pontbriand provided a well-practised account to the history of the town, its châteaux and its vineyards.Please log in to continue reading: