Les Gauletteries: an astonishing wine estate!
Take an adventure through the Sarthe, just outside Ruillé-sur-Loir, to discover the amazing Domaine des Gauletteries. With its exquisite Jasnières and Coteaux-du-Loir appellations which are well worth discovering, the estate has a few surprises in store for visitors...
These wines are prized by connoisseurs from around the world
How has this wine managed to turn up on the tables of the Elysée, or a Thai restaurant? Raynald Lelais, who manages Domaine des Gauletteries with his wife Francine and daughter Claire, is unsure. "One thing's for sure – a great many connoisseurs, from all around France as well as India, Japan and even Estonia, visit us here." The object of their desires? The Jasnières appellation, which flourishes inside the bottle within the cellars chiselled from the tuffeau rock, which also makes up the soil on which the vines are planted.
Notes of acidity that soften over time
Classed as an AOC since 1937, Jasnières was nevertheless forgotten in the 1960s and 70s, in favour of farming livestock and grain. Since the 80s, though, it has returned to the spotlight. This changeable wines have "a note of acidity for the first six months, with lemon and grapefruit flavours, which then change to pineapple before rounding out and displaying notes of acacia, caramel, almond and even apricot." The estate also produces an amazing Coteaux-du-Loir, with a spiced, peppery flavour that sometimes even displays notes of clove.
An underground museum!
The Domaine des Gauletteries gladly welcomes interested visitors and offers them tastings of their marvellous wines in a specially furnished cellar, cut out of the rock, with a tour around the barrels to boot. Groups can even venture a little further to discover the one-of-a-kind Musée de Bacchus, hidden away in an underground gallery and decorated in the 30s style, the great era for the estate's production. It features chairs sculpted out of the rock, a strange sculpture of the god of wine, a jumble of bottles, fountains, graffiti from 1890… Truly an estate like no other!