Apart from its singing name, Annonay is famous for its leather and paper industries going back centuries ( the artists among you, dear readers, might have use the Canson paper for your aquarelles and drawings...) and for giving birth to the Montgolfier brothers who invented the Montgolfire, i-e the hot air balloon, no less!
However, today the town heavily relies on a bus factory who employs 2000 people for its wealth.
But in my mind, it was where my grandmother had a very good lady friend with whom she kept in touch throughout her life. Unfortunately, I cannot recall how they met - I believe she was a school friend who married somebody from Annonay and moved there as a result. Maybe he came and proposed in a Montgolfiere and she could not refuse!
Condrieu, Tupin-et-Semons, Ampuis
The birthplace of northern Cotes-du-Rhone with the all too familiar names of Condrieu, St Joseph,
Crozes -Hermitage and Cote-Rotie, the biggest plantings of Syrah in the World, and yes, you guessed properly the second biggest place is Australia!
Cote-Rotie is 80% shiraz and 20% Viognier which have to be fermented together (cofermentation) and St Joseph is 80% Shiraz and at least 10% of Marsanne or Roussane in the blend. I do prefer the St Joseph, one, because it is somehow more affordable and two, because of my father's first name (and, no he was not a saint!)
I may have had two or three bottles of Cote-Rotie in my entire life (your contributions are welcome...) but would probably consume at least one bottle a year of St Joseph or Crozes-Hermitage. Now you know!
My favourite winery, Vidal-Fleury, produces all of them:
Côte-Rôtie Côte Blonde, Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage, , Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage in the north and also
Gigondas, Cornas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras, Cairanne, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Côtes du Rhône, Ventoux, and Pays d'Oc in the south of the Rhone valley, and these are just the reds. They also produce the rarer, but very interesting whites: Condrieu, Saint-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape , Côtes du Rhône.
If Valence has Pic, Vienne had Fernand Point - who passed away in 1955 - and now La Pyramide and Patrick Henriroux, on the same spot! It is also a hotel and is part of the Relais et Chateaux franchise.
Fernant Point trained Paul Bocuse (see next post), the Trois-Gros brothers and many more iconic French michelin starred Chefs. Vienne is on the east side of the Rhone and only 70 kms south of Lyon
Let's finish the day by driving to Lyon and stay there overnight. There is so much to Lyon that I will dedicate one full post to it tomorrow. In the meantime, here is a nice photo.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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