Chatou:Le Tour embraced art: Arriving by the Chatou bridge, you only have to look at the Seine and its banks to feel the change of scenery. The whole environment is bathed in blue-green hues: the water of the river, the trees, the bushes along it and the sky. You notice immediately that you are in the land of the Impressionists. One of the main reasons for the enthusiasm of artists and strollers for the banks of the Seine was the construction, in 1837, of the first passenger railway linking Paris Saint-Lazare station to Le Pecq. Painters, poets and with them the whole Parisian bohemian scene flocked there. Some sought inspiration in the landscape, others simply sought entertainment or fresh air. Renoir, Manet, Monet and Caillebotte came to soak up the ever-changing atmosphere of nature and the brilliance of its colours and to enjoy the guinguettes along the banks between Chatou and Croissy.
Le Tour specialties:
Chatou: No specialties listed
Paris:My favorite, every year: French gastronomy, over 13,500 brasseries and restaurants
From an importer: Champagne Augustin is Emmanuelle and Marc Augustin. Between them they represent nine generations of winemakers. Now, with 2 sons of their own, they run Marc's family estate located in Avenay-Val-d’Or in the slope above famed Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. They grow both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, though the majority of their cuvees are dominated by Pinot Noir. Since 2012 they have been farming organically with a full force switch to biodynamics in 2013. Every aspect of their winery follows biodynamic and holistic practices. The winery was built while adhering to biodynamic principles, the vines, cultivated by Emmanuelle, are grown with cover crops utilizing biodynamic preparations. The vines are not pruned in Spring but braided so as not to hurt the living plant. Harvest is of course by hand and happens following the lunar cycle on a Flower day, deemed the best day for harvest. Marc, responsible in the cellar, crafting the wines, a term he prefers, has created a philosophy called coeurviculture which means following the heart and being attentive to nature. Marc and Emmanuelle's belief that the vine and the resulting wine they craft is a living organism truly permeates every aspect of their domaine. Following these principles of harmony, their extraordinary Champagnes, named after the elements: Terre (Earth), Air, Feu (Fire) are balanced and nuanced, their complexity making them truly gastronomical as well as celebratory.