The Sign Said ‘Cave’...so we stopped to take a look. It was France, after all.
During the trip planning phase, I was very excited about going to the Loire Valley. It is chateau country, but it’s also very well-known for its wine and vineyards. You can easily imagine the landscapes of neatly planted grapevines, and the quintessential French-turreted chateaus looking majestic in all their glory. And each exceeded my expectations.
This structure was something completely unexpected.
So, when we saw the sign, we decided to turn the car around, and have a closer look:
These are known as troglodyte caves. It is tufa stone, soft enough to carve, yet strong enough to remain a fortified shelter for those who literally carved out a life and often, a dwelling-place. They quarried the very stone used to make their residence.
Just look at what today’s inhabitants did with the place :
These modern cave-dwellers-by-day have turned this big rock into a unique location for wine-tasting. In fact, the name cave in French is translated as cellar, or wine-cellar.
Volupia, in Chargés (near Amboise), offers a menu for hungry passers-by and we were amply rewarded with a plate of delectable pâte, charcuterie meats, and various French cheeses with baguettes.
Here, our host names each option…
Much to our surprise, after it was recommended to eat and drink our choice of wine across the road and next to the Loire River, we were rewarded once again. This time with several hot air balloons drifting above, off into the sunset.
Our senses were filled with all things French.
We savored each bite and every moment. We were so happy we turned the car around, went off-plan, and into that cave.