About wine and wine-making, to be precise.
As mentioned in my previous post, my sister and I spent a long weekend with friends in a small village called Saint Amour Bellevue, in the French country side, where the Beaujolais wine is made.
On the Saturday, our friends took us to the Hameau Duboeuf, a theme park about wine, its history, how it is made and how it has formed the region and its inhabitants. Their website is here, and you can look at it in English, German or French.
It was a glorious day, and the first thing we saw after our short drive from Saint Amour to the Hameau was this beautiful old steam engine at the station that had once been specifically built for the wine-makers to facilitate transport to and from this region:
Inside the large entrance area, I was impressed by how immaculately clean and with a lot of polished brass gleaming in constrast to the elegant dark green colour theme everything was, such as this old ice-cream selling trolley:
We then started our tour of the museum, but I only took a few pictures in there:
The exhibition was interesting - and would have been even more interesting to a true wine lover, which I am not, I'm afraid; I hardly ever drink any wine and can't tell the difference between a "good" and a less good wine at all. Of course I can say I like the taste of this one and not the taste of that one, but that's about it; you could probably put the most expensive wine in front of me and I would not appreciate it because it wouldn't be sweet enough for my more cocktail-used palate :-) For meals, I much prefer drinking just water, and for fun (as you know if you have been reading my blog for a while), cocktails and sparkling wine / champagne are my drinks.
So, after looking at many, many instruments (some of them looking very dangerous and war-like) used in vineyards, rows and rows of barrels, animated parts of the exhibition (all very nicely done, and four-year-old H behaved incredibly well throughout, although I am sure she must have been quite bored at times), we left the Hameau and went across the road to the garden and vineyard part of the museum.
I liked this part very much and would have loved to take a peek inside the gypsy caravan, but it was not possible.
My sister and I were both naive enough to think that the roses were planted at the end of the vineyards for beauty and pleasure - but of course, in agriculture, nothing is done without a good reason, and we learnt that the roses were put there as an indicator for any illness or a pest the vines may have, since they are the first to show the signs, and then the vintners can act on that.
Come back tomorrow for a stroll through Saint Amour with me!