Monday, June 22, 2015

Picnic in the vines - Chateau du Petit Thouars

The Summer Solstice is the perfect time for a picnic lunch at a chateau.
Especially if is Chateau du Petit Thouars (pronounce that '2 Rs') in the Loire Valley. And so easy to get to from Paris. Simply take the TGV train from Gare Montparnasse direction Tours for Chinon or Porte Boulet. In a mere hour or so you're in a lush, bucolic paradise.
The chateau was bought by winemaker, Sebastien's ancestor in 1634.
Wonderful architectural details to gaze at...
But we're here for a vineyard tour and picnic!
Our guide, Monsieur Dimitri awaits.
Off we go wearing straw hats lent by the chateau...
To inspect the vineyards.
15 hectors growing Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc grapes.
It's that very important time when the vines flower (la fete de la fleur). All looks well for the next vintage.
Next a cooling tour of the caves to see the aged oak vats.
The bottling facilities
Yves du Petit Thouars gives us a tasting of the range of wines from the chateau.
My picnic partner, Solli approves.
Enfin Sebastien arrives with our bottles for the lunch.
The weather could not be more perfect for a picnic in the vines.
Chateau staff Mademoiselle E. sets our elegant table with goodies:
Light salads, paté, charcuterie, a selection of cheeses, baguette
And of course chateau du Petit Thouars' lovely Chenin Blanc.
Bear is best pleased tasting TWO tartes; poire et fruits rouges.
Later on, after a perfectly relaxing afternoon we feel like Alice in Wonderland wandering back to the castle after our scrumptious picnic.
If you're coming to the Loire, what better way to celebrate a special occasion or just the beautuful countryside than an elegant picnic at the chateau plus wine tasting. Chateau DPT wines have won many awards. 
For the fourth of July on Saturday/Sunday there will be an outdoor celebration and I'll be there painting strawberry watercolors onsite and selling prints.


  1. A very delightful post, Carol! Thank you!


  2. As I am stuck in the US for a few more months, this post made me homesick. VERY homesick. But, thank you for sharing! (you painted a custom for me a few years ago, My pug dog in front of Auge Wine Cave, in Paris) I lost touch (breast cancer slowed me up a bit) with your delightful blog&paintings and have missed you terribly. So happy to have found you again. Life is good! XOX

  3. Quelle charmate sortie et je vois que c'est vous qui avez aussi peint l'affiche dans la vitrine?
    Quel honneur:)

    Bear..that lucky bear...
    Hope you get there soon Robin.
    Take care.

    1. Oui Madame the tarte framboise watercolor is mine. You don't miss a trick.

    2. I miss my typos.. charmante..but never your art:)
      Gorgeous poster Carol! Wow.

  4. Hi Carol,

    Your post on the picnic is awesome!!! Thank you so much, we love it and are completely enchanted too :-)
    We can't wait to have you back for July 4th weekend!!!

  5. Beautiful. Bliss. Thank you for continuously bringing us such gorgeous eye candy. I didn't want this post to end. One lovely photo after another. And is there anything more precious than the little boy walking with Sebastien down the lane? Dimetri comes a close second. :-) Sigh.....

    1. Thanks!
      Ooops the little boy has a dress on...Elizabeth. ;))

    2. Yes, Ooops! I saw the dress on my larger computer monitor, after I posted. Pretty Elizabeth. :-)))))) Thanks!

  6. Such charm, a French pic-nic at it's best. Lovely photos capturing precious moments. Mr France and I took a picnic in a corner of our garden for Fathers day.

  7. Carolyn5:49 PM

    How exciting that you will be their featured guest over the 4th of July!!!! Painting on site, what fun:). Wish I could be there to experience it!!

  8. Anonymous10:44 PM

    wow! im so in love with your photos! :) i wish to see France someday.

    i blog here:

  9. I got my Jeune "Paris Map" today. I love them. You just want to put yourself in the picture. The info sheet you are including will make good references for what is on offer at the different locations when I get to Paris. Doing great.

  10. Such an elegant picnic - so very lucky with the weather and another venue to add to my list when I pop over to France

  11. Giggled at the vision of 15 guys named Hector all toiling away in the hectares of vineyards!
    Bear has all the luck ---

  12. I enjoyed your picnic at Chateau du Petit beautiful. And I LOVED receiving my very own watercolor of Angelina's! I only wish it was September and I was there sipping hot chocolate!

    Have a wonderful week!

  13. Tres belle! What a life you lead!!!

    1.'s hard work Kathy but someone has to do it.. :))

  14. Wonderful. And have a beautiful 4th!!!

  15. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Everything you post and paint has such an air of enchantment and lovely-ness that I am wishing so much that I could experience it all-but not possible- so thank you for providing the experience through your Artists eye. It is probably better than the real thing since reality always provides just enough frustrations to be annoying. Something your Art and Prose never are. And I love the Bear!

  16. Carol, I am predicting that many folks will be enjoying Le Grand Pique-nique, in this glorious location. How I do wish I could be amongst them! Your strawberry watercolors with certainly add to the delights of the day. The poster is a beauty. xo

  17. This does it…I must hop a flight and leave Tom for a the Fourth of July at this gorgeous chateau - to die for or at least travel for…..

  18. Could you please let me know where exactly the chateau is? We are having a house not far from Chinon and it would be great to visit on the weekend of the 5th.

    1. Dear Chai and Chardonnay,
      Our address is: Château du Petit Thouars, 37500, Saint Germain sur Vienne (La Chaussée). It would be a pleasure to welcome you on the weekend of July 4th and 5th!
      Hope to see you then!

  19. It looks gorgeous there, Carol. I love your first photo, the still-life table setting.
    The dog is a nice touch, too - looks like a fabulous place to visit.
    Good to see Bear, too!

  20. Oh R with the wine from 2Rs! What an idyllic sounding afternoon. It just so happens I'm organising a jaunt to Chinon around 19-20 August so I do hope the Château de Thouars will be open then during the vacation time. I would love a visit - love the sound of their Chenin Blanc. How civilised with the straw hats and you and Solli look lovely! So wish I could be there to see you painting at the event. Sounds a perfect treat - enjoy, Carol x

  21. Your painting is splendid and so, too, the tour. I can't imagine a lovelier afternoon or more delightful place to visit!


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