An Englishman’s home is his Château

Madame Proust welcomes new arrivals to the guest accommodation at Château de Vaugaudry. “The English like it here,” she tells me as we climb the stone steps leading to the cavernous hall of the building. It’s east to see why: a carved stone baronial fireplace forms the centrepiece to a huge room that must be fifteen feet high; a spiral staircase leads up to a fairytale gothic tower and bed chambers with vaulted ceilings and arched windows that look out onto the river Vienne. The 15th century buildings, part of the Vaugaudry estate, are set between nearly 100 hectares of forest and the left bank of the river. You can rent it as a gîte and pretend to be Lord and Lady of the manor for a week. The stable block too can be rented; this is a more modest property (by comparison) but it’s set in beautiful parkland and is right next-door to the winery.

Château de Vaugaudry is owned by Antoine Belloy whose grandfather acquired the place in the 1940s. Much investment has been made in the winery and in the 12 hectares of walled vineyards which now produce 80,000 bottles of Chinon wine per year. The Clos de Vaugaudry 2005 is a typical example of the fuller-style Chinon wines. Selected fruit from old vines is fermented in temperature controlled steel vats and then matured in oak barriques. The resulting wine has a complex fruit with a touch of smoke, a firm structure and long finish; a wine to lay-down in the cellar for a couple of years. Unbelievably, the gîtes are still available in June, the first week of July and September!
Château de Vaugaudry, Chinon

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