Autumn’s been really mild so far this year and the colours are amazing. If you haven’t been here this time of the year before, you really don’t expect it.
So we took a day out today and drove up through the mountains to Saillans, on the banks of the Drome. Last time I was there was earlier in August with a group, for a day’s canoeing and kayaking. There was a bit more water this time, far fewer people, and it was much colder! And the call of the plat de jour at le Tunnel was more appealing than a wet suit and a guaranteed capsize or two!
The bill for lunch came to under 30 euros for 2 – for a salmon tart starter, cardomum beef with bean sprouts, and lemon pie, bread and wine.
The area round Saillans and Die is known for its sparkling wines – the Cremant and Clairette de Die. So of course we stopped off at the vineyard of Jean-Claude Raspail (www.raspail.com) to stock up the cave for Christmas. Family owned, the production is all organic, with state of the art production facilities. After tasting the wines, practising my french, and being given a tour of the facilities, we loaded our goodies into the car and set off back.
So even at the end of November, there’s plenty to do here. If you want reviews of the wines, see Cork’d (www.corkd.com and the username chateaucolombier).