29 septembre 2021

Présentation du vin Touraine : Noble Joué

Touraine Rosé shared on screen

It was la rentrée and the first talk in the new season's cercle en virtuel et sur place.  Our new présidente, Patricia HARDIMAN was pleased to launch the latest programme and officially welcomed Bridgene and Philippe ARNAUD for their presentation of the Touraine wine, Noble Joué.

Cushendall-born Bridgene explained that she and her husband, Philippe, now divide their time between his native Touraine and Ballycastle spending several months of the year in each location.  They provide French tutorials and it was through friendship connections with a member of the local U3A, University of the Third Age, that the idea for this talk originated.

The couple then engaged in a two-hander exposé - Philippe commenting his slides in French and Bridgene paralleling his inputs in English. In this way they took us on a virtual visit to the Domaine des Frères ROUSSEAU and their Touraine wine Noble Joué. The domaine is in the townland of Eavres in the Loire Valley, close to the French home of les ARNAUD.

The ROUSSEAU vineyard has been in the family for four generations and its current custodians are brothers Bernard and Michel, Catherine, Michel's wife and their daughter Lucille who will eventually take over the business -  A further generation.

Through a mix of slides and video clips members were escorted through the various stages of wine production including pruning les sarments and the interesting practice of lighting candles in the vineyard to protect the dormant plants in periods of severe frost - a tried, tested and trusted process.

A further series of slides and commentary took us through other steps in the wine-making journey: harvesting, pressing, fermenting, labelling, bottling, packing and shipping.

Several of our participants had responded enthusiastically to our request to join in a pot de l'amitié for our first evening by having to hand a bottle of Touraine wine. In a fun moment they showed a variety of bottles obtained locally (the rosé shown in the picture above was chosen by Jonathan) so that when Philippe produced a bottle of vin vieux to demonstrate the opening technique we were all ready to raise our own glasses in accompaniment, with moderation of course!

Santé !  Et un très grand merci à Bridgene et Philippe pour une très belle soirée.

13 septembre 2021

Bienvenue ! Le Cercle en virtuel et sur place

Welcome from our new Présidente, Patricia HARDIMAN

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Dear friends,
It is with great joy that I welcome you, in my new role as Présidente du Cercle français de Belfast, to another year of cultural events.

Last year, the Cercle managed to weather the storm of the pandemic by providing a great variety of online presentations.  Once again, we are taking up the challenge of offering you another varied programme based on French culture and language.  As the year looks uncertain again, the Cercle committee has decided to offer its events through a hybrid or "blended learning" format.  This means that talks will either be online, in person or perhaps both allowing us to take account of any health restrictions applying to The Dark Horse venue.  We will get there as soon as we can!  This greater flexibility will also help us to keep in touch with all our new members who live in the four corners of Northern Ireland and who have discovered us through the virtual meetings.

We will be launching our new programme with an online event, a Pôt de l'amitié over a Touraine wine experience.  We are also planning some additional events so be sure that you are subscribed to our monthly email newsletter and remember to follow us on social media.  In the meantime, and on behalf of all the Cercle français de Belfast committee, I'd like to thank you for your continued support and friendship.

Click on the page tab above for full details of our programme.

Happy reading!

Patricia HARDIMAN, Présidente