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Are there still counts in France?

Yes indeed.

As part of a Loire Valley Cteau tour, I paid a visit to the stunning Château de Nitray built in the 16th century.

This where I met my first count | Monsieur le comte.


The facade of Château de Nitray


The Count de Nitray

Despite the French revolution, nobility still exists in France.  As a result, I guess I was expecting an older grey-haired man with a supercilious edge to pontificate about the superiority of French wine … blah blah blah.

Instead, my tour group was greeted by the affable and young (by my standards) François de l’Espinay who has been running the Nitray winery since 1989. François took over the business from his father-in-law and the whole family still lives altogether in the château.


The count demonstrating the light colour of his Sauvignon. *Photograph courtesy of Peg McPhedran


François and family members all work for the winery.



They harvest, bottle and sell a variety of wines that are Loire labelled AOC Touraine (controlled designation of origin).

Nitray Wines  – The White

Over lunch, we were treated to two of the family’s most popular wines;



Great French wines are so reasonably priced!


To start — their “Sauvignon”



One of my lunch mates wide-eyed over the white!



It is described as a “well-balanced wine with aromas that are fruity with dominant citrus notes, and a hint of broom.”

I hope they mean the “broom flower” and not what they used to sweep up the floors of the chateau!





Nitray Wines — The Red

It was called “CôtCôt Codette”— it had renotes of red fruit, apricot compote and violet.


Sane guy, different wine.


I actually don’t drink, but when in France…

I just had to taste both of these wines, and while I was not able to distinguish the notes of broom, they were both excellent!

(I take the same approach to croissants and French bread when I am in France.)


For a little added drama, the count used a sabre to lop off the corks, something he encouraged us not to try at home.*

*See my short video on my Facebook Page.



The count opened the door to make sure he did not hit any one in the eye!


Our lunch was a hardy mix of roasted chicken, done to perfection, with boiled potatoes, stewed tomatoes and salad.

It was just right on this brisk day!



All in all, lots of fun and another great way to meet new people.


My tour compatriots


Tours Anytime of Year

There are wine tours in and around Paris at all times of year even if the next season of grapes aren’t growing yet.

Click the link to find this tour here!

And if you are interested in other wine and food tours you can find them by clicking on this link.


Here are some Top Favourites that combine Walking, Food and Wine;

Montmartre Food and Wine Tour — an exclusive Montmartre food and wine tour, with up to ten gastronomy stops.

Marais District Food Walking Tour with Wine and Cheese Tastings — Stop at up to 10 shops and other food vendors to sample wines, cheeses, meats, bread, jam, chocolate, and macarons

Guided Visit and Wine Tasting in a Royal Wine Cellar in Paris — This guided wine tasting, held in an 18th-century cellar in central Paris, will teach you all about wine production — and give you plenty of chances to taste the good stuff as you go.


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  1. Twink on March 8, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Same guy different wine. Now there is a person who thinks “fun”.
    Wine is always better at a winery.

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      You are too funny Twink!

  2. Shardie Stevenson on March 8, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Oh la la….. French wine ! I would love to take one of these tours once the world of travel has recovered. ❤️

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      Yes, and you will get back there with me! Love you BF! Diana

  3. Sally on March 8, 2020 at 10:11 am

    I watched the video of the Montmartre wine tour. It took me back, as I was there some years ago. The amazing stairs are in the video that take you up to a square with artists, and restaurants. Then to Sacrecer. This is one of the highest spots in Paris. That big windmill is there also as is Moulenrouge. I loved Paris so much.

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Me too — I am pining for it already. I was so looking forward to spring in Paris this year!
      Best to you Sally — Diana

  4. Luci on March 8, 2020 at 10:36 am

    Diana. Would u consider continuing this wonderful blog w a shift to more informational rather promotional content to keep us all engaged and maybe just dreaming for a bit till this thing is over with. I think we all need something fun to open up on our Sunday mornings. Remaining engaged is impt in my opinion. Your thoughts?

  5. Margaret Ann Gendreau on March 8, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Good Morning Diana, I also like the idea of you continuing the blog with an informative slant. So much to learn but I would like to see what you’re up to as you send out the information too.

    Look at those “stewed tomatoes”! Yummy! I serve them quite often, I have my great grandmothers recipe. People are often surprised when I serve them as a side., they just aren’t familiar with them.

    Looking forward to more Sunday mornings with you and my coffee!

  6. Diane Moreau on March 8, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Hello Diana
    We are in the opposite position— trying to get back to Canada before April 30 to pay our taxes! But it looks like we will pay online this year. Our son-in-law who is a microbiologist in London believes the Covid-19 will peak in Western Europe in 2 wks-1 mo. and then should be on the wan by June. No one here in France is worried about catching it as much as being quarantined somewhere… So we will have patience and look forward to your blog upon your return and thanks so much for continuing to communicate with is in a different informational format. Bons Baisers.

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 7:36 pm

      Diane, You are so kind to comment here. Yes, I was not worried about getting the virus as being quarantined there with no where to stay once my rental ran out. I agree that it is going to peak in Europe in the next month to six weeks and will be on the wane until June.
      In addition to the blog which takes up a full day every week, I run a communications company which is more than a full time job. I am hoping to get back to Paris by the fall at the latest. Best to you! Diana

  7. Trudy Van Buskirk on March 8, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    I agree with Luci and Margaret Ann about changing your blog for the time being to more informational. As you know I’m disabled and can’t travel and appreciative something positive every Sunday. Please don’t write less often 🙁 Perhaps you could write about places you’d like to go and get pictures the owners of those places use or reach out and ask others from photos of their favourite things/ places in Paris and France … you and should brainstorm via vide (zoom) as Christine Camm and I do now.

    • Trudy Van Buskirk on March 8, 2020 at 4:04 pm

      poor typing .. I meant to say you and I for the brainstorming.

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Trudy — thank you for this comment. I will be posting but not as frequently. And I actually need some time to work on the technical and business side of the blog which I have neglected for some time. I will do my best to keep things running. Best to you, Diana

  8. Kelly on March 8, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    I was surprised to read that you are choosing to put a hold on your blog due to the Coronavirus. Even though our domestic spring trip is in question at the moment, I am still as interested as ever to read travel blogs. As a matter of fact I feel it’s a nice distraction from the constant discussion around the virus. I hope you will reconsider as I always enjoy reading your posts!

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Kelly — I will still be posting but not as frequently. Because I will not be in Paris for perhaps another 5 months, I will not have the material to write about. I will however be keeping up things going on in that wonderful city and passing along my thoughts etc. I am deeply touched that you would miss my posts. Thank you. Diana

  9. peter wadge on March 8, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    I’m going to France in 2 weeks time. I think corona is being blown up too much. Are these wine tours in English or just in French? Surely I’m not the only person who isn’t fluent in French.

    • Diana Bishop on March 8, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      Hi Peter,
      Well I guess we all have to make our own decisions.
      Any tour that I write about on my blog is done in English. This one is part of the Loire Valley Chateau tour that I talked about in an earlier blog — go to “Chateau Chenonceux.” If you do book, I would appreciate it if you would book through the link on my blog in order that I get a small commissions. These commissions in part pay for the cost of running my blog.
      Have a wonderful time, and I would love to interview you when you get back so take lots of pictures ok? Bon Voyage my friend! Diana

      • Diana Bishop on March 23, 2020 at 9:28 am

        I assume you did not go to Paris Peter. I hope you are well. Diana

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