Circle of Misse

Wine Tasting Days @ Misse

Loire Wine Facts

Principle grape varieties:

White


Rosé


Red


La Cuisine de ma Mere wine label

Celebrated for its "Saumur sparkling wines", many of the Loire's great still wines are less easy to find outside the region and more difficult to source outside of France. The reason for this is that so many wines are made by small independent producers who simply don't make enough wine to interest large suppliers and supermarket chains.

Clos Cristal Les Murs wine label

Celine and Benoit Blet are an excellent example. They tend eight and half hectares of vines, in neighbouring Oiron, production is biodynamic and there are just three people involved in running the whole operation. Their wines can be found in many of the best restaurants locally and are stocked by a number of Cavistes (specialist wine shops) in the region, particularly those with an interest in organic and biodynamic production. Beyond that they supply a small number of enthusiastic distributors both in France and abroad.

Wine-tasting with Damien l'Herbette, Caviste at Candes St Martin
Wine-tasting with Damien l'Herbette, Caviste at Candes St Martin 

Intrigued by the romance of vineyard life? Want to immerse yourself in the lore, culture, and science behind that superb glass of Loire red, white or rosé? You’ve found the place. Nestled amid the great Loire wine regions of Anjou, Saumur, Chinon, Touraine and the lesser known Vins du Thouarsais and Haut Poitou, join us for a one or two-day journey into delightful and fascinating world of wine.

Who Attends?  Anyone who loves wine and wants to expand their knowledge and enjoyment of it. Whether you wish to learn more about wine in general or specifically Loire wines, or desire a better understanding of the wine making process and how to taste, distinguish and pair wine with food, this course if for you. Because we keep group size small, we can tailor the course to your specific interests, or cover everything. The course can be a break on its own, but it also is a wonderful addition to a longer French holiday, as it equips you with the knowledge and context to get more out of vineyard visits and the wines of the region in general.

‘This was the perfect present for my 40th birthday!
I knew I was going to taste good wines, but I didn't expect to find such a high level of "haut cuisine"!!
I loved the laid back relaxed way Aaron shared his great knowledge of the wines and the region. Real inspiration from people that do what they love in their life.’

- Giacomo (London, UK)

How does it work?  Both one-day and two-day courses start by demystifying the tasting process and by establishing language that can help you identify good from bad and more importantly flavours you particularly like. We talk about the soils and prevailing conditions in the region, and throughout the day we will taste a selection of the best wines of the region, accompanied by foods that show them off well. We end the day with a visit to a local winery. Two-day courses continue this process, focusing on getting to know and love the region and its wines. We will enjoy a couple of wine tasting sessions accompanied by French style Tapas designed to complement the wines. We will take some time to talk about the variety of grapes and wines in the region and discuss some of the changes to wine-making in the last century. We will take lunch out, in Chinon or Saumur, and spend an afternoon visiting a few wineries or wine growing cooperatives in the region. The two-day course includes a visit to an organic winery where the winemaker will take us out to the vines and talk through their work (as long as he or she is not in the middle of harvesting grapes).

What will I take away?  A deeper appreciation of wine and wine making, a stronger passion for and understanding of French winemaking traditions, and a substantial introduction to French the culinary arts that will allow you to get much more out of your subsequent travels in the country. You’ll also take away a sheaf of materials, tips and ideas, along with a desire to apply your newly acquired knowledge. These courses are the perfect key to unlocking the real romance and allure of France and French wine, filling you with the joy, excitement and appreciation of the joys good food and wine can bring to life. It will help you to get most out of your time in the country. You’ll learn your way around a vineyard and become better at identifying and finding wines that you suit your tastes both in France and back at home.


Loire Valley Wine Map Loire Valley Wine Map  

Practicalities

1 Day Wine Experience

Course Length: 1 day/1 night

Schedule: One-day courses run from 09:30-17:30.

Prior wine experience or knowledge required? No. Suitable for the absolute beginner, experienced, and seasoned vinophiles, along with those who are simply interested in learning more about what they’re drinking while in France.

Travel Details: You can drive directly to the Misse house (we’ll provide directions) or we can pick you up and drop you off at Thouars rail station.

Cost: £195 Includes course tuition, one night bed, breakfast and dinner accommodation (single or double occupancy); all meals (including wine and cocktails); beverages and snacks throughout the day. Cost without accommodation £149. To secure a place a deposit of £75 is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.

Accommodation: Accommodation is in one of our properties on the night of the course day. An additional night or nights can be added either side of the course at a special rate if that is more convenient for you. Please inquire. The Circle of Misse comprises two beautiful properties located minutes from each other on the Thouet River. The main Misse House, where all courses are taught and most meals are served; and River House, a lovely riverside villa with stunning views and immaculate gardens. Both properties have beautiful rooms with double beds, wardrobes and writing desks. Most share a bathroom. Due to the nature of how we schedule courses, we regret that we cannot take requests for particular properties or rooms.

‘I did not expect to be treated to so many enriching experiences - thank you - we had a great time.
I take back an extended knowledge about wine and I really appreciated and enjoyed how you contextualised it within the social history of the region. This was fascinating and brought the subject to life for me.’

- Estelle (London, UK)

Meals & Drinks: Breakfast, lunch & dinner each day, including wine & cocktails. Coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks and snacks available all the time.

Dates upon request
Email inform@circleofmisse.com

2 Day Wine Experience

Course Length: 2 days/1 night

Schedule: Two-Day courses start at 09:30 on Day One. On the second day we start at 09:30 and finish circa 17:30.

Prior wine experience or knowledge required? No. Suitable for the absolute beginner, experienced, and seasoned vinophiles, along with those who are simply interested in learning more about what they’re drinking while in France.

Travel Details: You can drive directly to the Misse house (we’ll provide directions) or we can pick you up and drop you off at Thouars rail station.

Cost with Accommodation: £350 Includes two days course tuition; one night bed, breakfast and dinner accommodation (single occupancy); all meals (including wine and cocktails); beverages and snacks throughout the day; and any admission fees for local excursions. Cost without accommodation £295. To secure a place a deposit of £125 is due at the time of booking; the balance is due 45 days before the course starts.

Accommodation: The course includes accommodation in one of our properties on the night between the two days of the course. An additional night or nights can be added either side of the course at a special rate if that is more convenient for you. Please inquire. The Circle of Misse comprises two beautiful properties located minutes from each other on the Thouet River. The main Misse House, where all courses are taught and most meals are served; and River House, a lovely riverside villa with stunning views and immaculate gardens. Both properties have beautiful rooms with double beds, wardrobes and writing desks. Most share a bathroom. Due to the nature of how we schedule courses, we regret that we cannot take requests for particular properties or rooms.

Meals & Drinks: Breakfast, lunch & dinner each day, including wine & cocktails. Coffee, tea, juices, soft drinks and snacks available all the time.

Dates upon request
Email inform@circleofmisse.com

Cooking Courses in Pictures

  • Garganelli served with both fennel & tomato and pork ragus

  • A Wild Nettle (Stinging variety) Risotto

  • Writers reap rewards from the cookery school

  • Making Halloumi Cheese

  • Taking a break to taste a Sauvignon Blanc from Haut Poitou

  • A Misse speciality - Tagliatelli with Radish Leaf Pesto

  • Cooks Prepare White Asparagus Risotto

  • A Festive Ballotine of Turkey (Boned, layered and cooked in its original skin)

  • Peaches poached in Cabernet Franc Wine

  • Pasta Sunflowers stuffed with wild rabbit and dressed with a Girolle Sauce