domaine de fontenayIn the upper Loire Valley lies the appellation of the Côtes Roannaise AC – from the region around Roanne (42 Loire, ARA) – although a long way from the area most of us associate with the Loire Valley.

These are wines based on the Gamay grape – best known as the Beaujolais grape. Here at Villemontais, Englishman Simon Hawkins and his wife Isabelle have developed a very successful vineyard – Domaine du Fontenay with wines which increase in quality with each vintage!

But they also offer Bed and Breakfast (Chambre d’Hote) on the domaine – with 4 non-smoking rooms themed after different grape varieties – Gamay, Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir – the rooms offering great views over the vines – and the opportunity to taste some of the vineyard’s wines and learn something about wine-making in France – free wine tasting sessions, and vineyard tours if you reserve in advance.

For more on the B&B Domaine du Fontenay.