After lunch, we drove to Chanaz, a lovely town that we had stopped at 2 years ago. Chanaz has a beautiful setting on a canal that runs into the Rhone, and since it was such a lovely day and it was in the middle of school vacation, there were a lot of people strolling around the town. We had come back there partly to visit Le Moulin de Chanaz, a walnut and hazelnut oil mill that we had stopped at 2 years ago but which was closed then. It was open today and quite busy, and we watched some of the production of their nut oils. It was fascinating to watch the small production operation which used old methods of heating and pressing. We bought several bottles of each oil, some to use here and some to bring home. We also stopped at an artisinal chocolate shop; the chocolates were made at a small facility on the outskirts of Chanaz, and the woman who makes the chocolates was selling them at her little shop in town. She gave us some samples, which were delicious, and we bought a few of them.
|Moulin de Chanaz|
After leaving Chanaz we drove north towards the Chautagne region to try and find the Cave de Chautagne wine producer. We eventually found it, and visited their caveau. We tried a number of their wines, but most of them were disappointing. Some had clearly been open for too many days, and overall there was not much we liked. We did buy a bottle of their Vielle Vignes (old vines) Mondeuse, which we had with dinner that night.
We then drove to the village of Chatillon, a port town on the northern part of the Lac de Bourget. We parked near the port and strolled down to the water and out onto the pier. After leaving Chatillon we stopped at the Abbaye d’Hautecombe, a magnificent abbaye overlooking the Lac de Bourget. We finally drove back to Lhuis and had a late dinner.
|Lac de Bourget in Chatillon|
Monday morning we started by heading towards the Lac de Bourget again, this time stopping at the wine village of Jongieux, which we had visited 2 years ago. Since most of the producers are very small, you can’t always be guaranteed that someone will be available at the tasting room, even if you arrive during listed opening hours, but after one miss, we stopped at Domaine Dupasquier, which had been recommended by the wine writer Wink Lorch, and one of the proprietors was there. She poured us their range of wines, most of them white, and they were outstanding. We bought their Jacquere, a local white grape; two wines from the Altesse/Roussette grape, including one that was from the sub-AOC ‘Marestel”; and their Mondeuse.
|Domaine Dupasquier Caveau|
|Upper Part of Lhuis|
After unloading our purchases and having some cheese and wine, we decided to take a walk outside the center of the village. There was a farm about half a mile from our gite, and we headed in that direction. Their principal product was goat cheese, but they also had a whole array of other farm animals, including cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. There was also a friendly cat, as well as a dog that was not so friendly and who attacked me. While we were strolling around, their herd of goats were returning to the barn, accompanied by one of he owners And several young children. Although the farm store was not officially open, the owner said to enter the shop, and his wife was there to serve us. So we got more goat cheese to add to our collection.