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“The perfect birthday present”
Review of Loire Valley Uncorked - CLOSED

Loire Valley Uncorked
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Attraction details
Owner description: From a Loire Valley wine-making family, Gérald, a bilingual French wine professional hosts private half-full day wine tours & tastings at niche organic and biodynamic Domaine's. Available as a day trip from Paris with collections from Angers and Saumur. Sharing inherent knowledge and a lifetime’s passion, alongside Gérald discover all aspects of wine-making, the annual work undertaken preparing the vines, the methods applied to create the blanc, rosé, rouge and sparkling wines, before concluding with a comprehensive and technical wine tasting. **At Bistrot Les Tontons experience a further wine tasting of Natural wines, accompanied by a lunch of freshly prepared local and regional cuisine, (**wine tour dependant).
Reviewed 19 July 2014

I had organised a surprise trip to France for my husband's birthday and wanted to set up something extra special for him as a present. We've both always wanted to go on a wine tasting tour and I knew the Loire Valley was home to some beautiful wines, so when I found Loire Valley Uncorked on TripAdvisor it looked absolutely perfect. After reading the reviews, I sent off an email and upon receiving such a lovely email response from Sarah-Jane I knew that this company was the one for us!

I decided on the Saumur tour as it included lunch and had a bit more involved than your ordinary wine tasting. Gerald collected us from Saumur train station and within minutes of meeting him we knew it was going to be a relaxed, informative, enjoyable and memorable day. He did not disappoint!

We were taken to the Domaine via picturesque countryside and first shown the vineyards themselves. It was a stunning day so it was great to get out there amongst it all. With Gerald's help we really felt like we were put in the shoes of a local wine maker, understanding what their job entails and the obstacles they face in the industry. It was so fascinating getting a special behind the scenes look into what really goes on in the early stages, and discovering just how much love it takes to produce each drop of wine.

Gerald then took us into where the vats and barrels were kept and explained the maceration and fermentation processes, which we found highly interesting (despite Gerald's claim it was the 'boring bit'!) and then back outside and down into... the 'caves'. These were absolutely magical!! Limestone caves where the wine was stored that had been there for... I can't remember how long (sorry Gerald!). They even had an old wine press down there that was incredible to see. Down here Gerald explained the sparkling wine making process and showed us where/how they turned the bottles - I found this bit particularly interesting as I had no previous idea of how this was done.

Now it was time for the tasting... bring it on! Gosh the wines were delicious. The way Gerald set up the tasting was perfect as well - let's just say you could tell he'd done it a few times before! We tried reds, roses, whites, dessert and sparkling, and proceeded to order 5 bottles of our favourites (an extra bag was subsequently bought on our returning RyanAir flight!). Then on our way back to the car Gerald presented Andy with a birthday present - a magnum of our favourite red from the tasting! I hadn't even asked the company to do this - such a generous, personal touch to the tour. (And Gerald we must say we enjoyed it immensely – thank you!)

Onto the lovely village of Saumur we went next, for lunch at the wonderful Bistrot Les Tontons. I had read a lot about this restaurant on TripAdvisor and can happily say it did not fail to exceed my expectations. We started with mushrooms stuffed with all manner of things - cheese, pork, sardines (which I usually dislike but they were absolutely divine - I gobbled up every last one!). Then for our main we had a stunning duck dish, followed by refreshing fruits for dessert - with matched wine flowing for the entire meal. Gerald even brought along a special Gamay as my husband had mentioned at one point throughout the day that it was his favourite. Again, such a personal touch. We were also joined by the gorgeous Sarah-Jane for lunch which was an absolute pleasure. What a charming couple they were - we could have talked for hours!

We then had a free couple of hours to wander around Saumur and up to the Chateau - it really is a must see! Check out the pics - absolutely stunning. Just strolling around made us want to come back and stay in the village itself. It has a really lovely vibe with some beautiful views.

I then dropped my husband back with Gerald to sit and chat at Bistrot les Tontons while I wandered more and had a bit of a shop (I am a girl on holiday after all!) where I found an amazing lace shop. I then returned in time for Gerald to take us back to the Saumur train station for our train back to Angers where we were staying.

All in all, this was a glorious experience and worth every penny. Gerald really knows his stuff and is passionate about his work – it is a pleasure to witness. Thank you Loire Valley Uncorked – we will definitely be recommending you to all of our wine-loving friends and family!

Thank Samantha W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoireValleyUncorked, Owner at Loire Valley Uncorked, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2014

Extremely appreciative and touched by your exceptionally kind words, we are delighted to read how much you enjoyed your day in Saumur. Gérald & I had a fabulous time with you both, with your careers fascinating us beyond belief! We look forward to sharing new vintages and new finds with you either in Brighton or in the Val de Loire. A bientôt and thank you! Sarah-Jane & Gérald

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Reviews (101)
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Reviewed 12 July 2014

My wife and I, as a day trip from Paris, took the Saumur Wine Tour with Loire Valley Uncorked, a wine tour service operated by Sarah-Jane & Gérald Beaumont.

On the morning of the tour, Gérald met us at the train station in Saumur and took us to a vineyard, where he introduced us to the grapes of the region and the wines produced from those varietals. He explained vineyard management as well as the details of the growth and harvesting of wine grapes. We visited the winery and the ancient limestone caves, where wines are aged. This was followed by a comprehensive tasting of Loire Valley white, rose, red and sparkling wines. The tour was scenic, educational and highly enjoyable.

We then went to Bistrot Les Tontons, a wine bar and restaurant operated by Gérald in Saumur. The chef obtains fresh foods from the market daily and prepares a small menu. We enjoyed a three course early afternoon meal with Gérald which was included as part of the Saumur Wine Tour. The food was unbelievably delicious, the paired wines were outstanding and the ambience delightful. We rate that lunch as possibly the best meal we have ever eaten. We walked about Saumur, on our own, after lunch and later met Gérald at the Bistrot for a ride to the rail station for our return to Paris.

I highly recommend Loire Valley Uncorked if you are seeking wine tours in the Loire Valley. Gérald was informative, friendly and down to earth and Sarah-Jane provided excellent help with tour and transportation planning. They are a superb wine tour service and we hope to return for the Anjou Wine Tour and a stay in their B&B.

Gene Davis, Visitor from USA

Thank genedavis1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoireValleyUncorked, Owner at Loire Valley Uncorked, responded to this reviewResponded 14 August 2014

Gérald & I had a wonderful time with you both (I still recall the fascinating lunch time conversations), and we would like to thank you for kindly taking the time to write such a beautifully descriptive review. We are looking forward to introducing you to the Anjou and welcoming you into our French/Anglo family home. Thank you once again and à bientôt, Sarah-Jane & Gérald

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Reviewed 5 July 2014

Gerald introduced us to numerous Loire Valley wines and was knowledgable and a pleasure to taste wine with. He was interested in our wine background and tastes and tailored the tastings accordingly. We enjoyed the tastings and would highly recommend the experience.

Thank RXS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

As two couples, we were collected by Gerald from our hotel after breakfast and taken to Domaine De La Paleine. On the way Gerald told us about the region and wines. We then started a large learning curve that was great fun and continued throughout the day. We stood with the vines finding out about effects of the soil, age of vines effects of the weather followed by the wine facility and production techniques then underground into the storage facility. All the time getting a fascinating insight in to wine. We explored the wines and why we get the different tastes and how to help the selection.

This was followed by a superb lunch at the Bistrot Les Tontons in a Saumur town square with Gerald and his lovely wife Sarah-Jane. We then moved further on to Chateau de Plaisance for a different tasting experience where the slightly eccentric owner was prepared to get out some big wine. We were then dropped back to our hotel Chateau de Verrieres - highly recommended.
We learnt more in 1/2 hour than on an entire trip elsewhere and there was no pressure at all to buy any wine.
All our thanks go to Sarah-Jane and Gerald for a special brilliant day.

Thank GoodieGreaterlondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoireValleyUncorked, Owner at Loire Valley Uncorked, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2014

A super day ! Gérald & I would like to thank you for your generous review and kindly taking the time to share your experience in the AOC Saumur and AOC Anjou, and we look forward to introducing you to new vintages upon your return to the Loire Valley. Thank you once again, Sarah-Jane & Gérald

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Reviewed 14 January 2014

During our stay at Annie's House with Gerald and Sarah-Jane we opted to go with Gerald for a wine-tasting morning at a Domaine. I had looked at their website prior to arrival and quite fancied a wine-tasting experience of some kind, but decided to make my mind up when we arrived. We opted for the cheapest of the tours, and Gerald assured us that it would be enough to equip us with the basics to go on to learn more ourselves. And he was right! It was a really enjoyable morning at the Domaine that he has worked with for several years. The best thing about the experience is Gerald; he's informative, funny and didn't laugh at any of my silly questions. I would recommend this to anyone, especially those that enjoy their wine and want to know more. I am know considered a bit of a know it all about wine by my family - thanks Gerald! It has left my enthused and wanting to find out more about wine.

Thank Jess C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LoireValleyUncorked, Owner at Loire Valley Uncorked, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2014

Gérald and I could not have asked for a nicer way to start the festive season, super company! Thank you kindly for taking the time to share your experience and we look forward to future wine tastings with you, either in the Loire Valley or in Brighton. Happy New Year, Sarah-Jane & Gérald

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