Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pech d'Estournel

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of small, family-run wineries in the Lot River Valley. It would be impossible to visit them all. When we stayed here last year with our kids, our hosts recommended we go to Pech d'Estournel and have dinner. Many wineries offer meals throughout the week as a way to showcase their wines. We had a fantastic meal with our children in 2010 and could not wait to return this year.

Monsieur Didier, the vintner, just happened to be selling his wares at the Puy L'Eveque market on Tuesday morning. We reserved 2 spots for their Wednesday night supper.

Madame Didier greeted us with open arms. She showed us to our table on her patio. It was the lone table on the deck! "C'est tres tranquille, non?" she asked us. We later learned that this night was the first sitting of the season. It would get busier as the summer wore on. Their dog 'Shoki' made for good company.

As we were waiting for our food to arrive, we could hear honking. We looked over the deck railing to see the farmyard goose calling to us. We called back to him, took some photos and sat down.

Out came the first course. A toasted baguette, a wedge of melon and a thick slice of foie gras served with a glass of sweet white wine. (All of my vegan and vegetarian friends can stop reading now.) It was very, very good.

Of course, Shoki was our best friend by now, sitting patiently by our chairs waiting for a morsel or two to drop on the floor.

The main course arrived. Duck confit with sliced potatoes fried in...what else? Duck fat of course! All washed down with a glass of thick black Cahors wine. Now Shoki couldn't contain himself. He wanted in on the action!

As I was slipping the dog hunks of duck skin under the table, guess who else wanted to be invited to the dinner party? THE GOOSE! I could see him trying to sneak up the back steps to the patio. I was just reaching for my camera when Madame came running out of her kitchen waving a tea towel to shoo him back down into the farmyard.

Dessert was a selection of goat cheeses accompanied by another delicious Cahors red.

At the end of the meal, Monsieur came out to chat. We pleaded with him "Doucement! Doucement!" but it did no good. He jabbered away en Francais, we caught the odd word here and there while nodding enthusiastically, we bought a couple of bottles of his yummy wine, and were on our way home by 9:00pm.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this country?


  1. What a nice dog, nice goose! What would I get to eat in France - no sympathy that's for sure!

  2. Margaret, I honestly don't know what vegetarians would eat here. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables. But this is a meat (and every part of the animal) eating country, that's for sure.

  3. Good God that sounds wonderful

  4. Those potatoes look SO GOOD! And Shoki looks adorable. What a nice meal for a dog!