Newsletter Banner
January / February 2010

Happy New Year!

In this issue you will find

  • Castles in the Snow
  • Our Newest Member:  Château La Roque de Bas
  • Château de Rouffillac returns to au Château!
  • Great offers from  Château de la Barre
  • Special Romantic Packages at Château de Reignac 
  • A preview of our new member in the Corrèze 
  • Château de Pomiro's Armagnac
  • Balloon Rides for Guests of Château de la Vigne



    and more!


     Castles in the Snow. . .

    Château de Saint-Loup
    Château de Saint-Loup after a snowfall

    France experienced a cold and snowy few weeks in late December and early January, and we heard from several of our au Château members about how they were coping with their rather unusual winter weather. Château de Saint-Loup, Château du Guerinet and Château de Montcru are shown here in their wintry beauty.

    Many lovely châteaux on our web site were blanketed by snow, and some of those owners have graciously volunteered photos of their estates.  (We've also included two photos taken in an earlier year that were just too lovely not to include.)  Although the châteaux are magnificent at any time of year, they take on a tranquil beauty under a veil of snow.

    Château de MontcruChâteau du Guerinet
    Château de Montcru and Château du Guerinet in Winter

    There are some surprises as well.  We received some photos from Orange in Provence's Vaucluse département ~ the lovely L'A Propos received some heavy snow, and these next photos show both the gardens and the palm trees (at night) under a heavy blanket!

    L'A ProposL'A Propos
    L'A Propos, in the city of Orange, was not spared the wintry weather this year!

    And, finally, photos of the magnificent Château du Fraisse is framed in the bright blue of the sky and the frosty white of new fallen snow in these photos of the château and grounds. We hope you enjoyed our visit to some au Château members in the winter months when few of us have the opportunity to visit them!

    Château du Fraisse

    Château du FraisseChâteau du Fraisse
    The beautiful Château du Fraisse

    [Photos courtesy of respective property owners © 2009 - 2010.  All rights reserved.]

    Our New Member in Bordeaux  . . .

    Château La Roque de Bas is our newest member, having joined us in January.  Located on the right bank of the Dordogne River just north of Bordeaux and very near Libourne, Pomerol, Fronsac and Saint-Emilion, this lovely château is in the heart of Bordeaux wine country and offers itself as a weekly rental.  Guests will have a great home base to visit all the wine châteaux and marvelous villages in the region.

    Château La Roque de Bas from the gardens
    Château La Roque de Bas, Bordeaux

    This fine château has been lovingly restored by its Scottish/Irish owners, Jane and Michael Brown, who are eager to welcome you to their charming home.  Rent it by the week to take full advantage of the spacious luxury suite and four fabulous guest rooms, two salons, grand dining room, and sun filled terraces.  All guest rooms, of course, are en suite with Fragonard toiletries and exquisite linens in both the bedrooms and baths.  Off season, the rooms may be let individually as bed and breakfast accommodations.

    Chambre JSaltwater swimming pool
     A guest room and the swimming pool at the Château

    For tennis players or those seeking a refreshing swimming pool, this château is perfect.  A fine hard tennis court and a saltwater pool are waiting for you.  Please visit the château on our pages today to see photos and read about the amenities that can make your vacation in France's Bordeaux wine country simply perfect!

    [Photo courtesy of Château La Roque de Bas © 2010.  All rights reserved.]

    French Quiz 101

    Where are we? 

    Where Are We? photo Quiz 100

     The first person whose email is received with the correct answer
    will receive a package of twelve assorted exclusive Château Note Cards.

    Send your answer by email to

    See the answer to last month's Quiz at the end of this newsletter.
    The answer to this month's quiz will appear in our March / April issue.

    [Photo credit:  © 2006-2010 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

    The Return of Rouffillac

    Château de Rouffillac and River Dordogne
    Château de Rouffillac on the River Dordogne

    We are very happy to welcome Château de Rouffillac back to our web site.  It has been several years since we've been able to present this property, high above the River Dordogne,  to some very lucky travelers.  And now, those lucky people could be you! 

    If you are looking for an outstanding property for a gathering of family or friends, a venue to celebrate a special occasion, or a fairytale location for a wedding, do consider this historic château in the Dordogne of southwest France.

    For more about the property, please visit it on our pages.  Contact information is provided for your questions or to make a reservation.

    [Photo Credits:  © 2010 Château de Rouffillac]


    FRANCE On Your Own banner.  Photo © 2003 - 2010 Cold Spring Press 1993-2010.  All rights reserved.

    Beautiful,  informational  web site for the independent traveler to France
    ...FREE quarterly newsletter...
    all this with just a click of your mouse.
    Visit the web site by clicking on the above banner or
    subscribe to the newsletter by email at

     Château de Reignac's 
    Romantic Getaways

    The luxurious and historic Château de Reignac in the heart of the Loire Valley, is designed for romance...from its exquisite guest rooms to the glamorous salons, this château is the ideal romantic getaway.

    Château de Reignac

    Two special packages are now being offered, so do consider them for your next visit to France:

    • The Romantic Escape is a package for two and includes a candlelight dinner, a luxury room furnished with antiques, flowers and a bottle of Champagne upon your arrival, and a fine buffet breakfast.  It is available every day but Sunday and is priced from 335 to 400 euros depending upon the room.
    • The Charm, Wellness and Beauty package is also for two persons, and it includes two nights in a double room, one light dinner (one course plus a glass of wine on a Friday evening), one candlelight dinner on Saturday evening, buffet breakfast both Saturday and Sunday mornings, and access to the Spa of Loches for two with a choice of treatments (to be specified when booking).  This is priced from 593 euros to 698 euros, once again depending upon the guest room.
    Don't miss the opportunity to take advantage of these romantic packages while enjoying the luxury and charm of an historic Loire château.  M. Erick Charrier, proprietor of Château de Reignac, looks forward to welcoming you!

    [Photo credits: Château de Reignac. © 2010All Rights Reserved.]

    Coming Soon . . .

    Château du Bois Noir
    Château du Bois Noir in the Limousin

    We are always happy to add a new member to our web site family, and very soon you will be able to visit the pages of Château du Bois Noir in the beautiful Corrèze département of France's Limousin region.

    Château du Bois Noir offers four large and comfortable en suite guest rooms, breakfast included, and a fine dinner of regional cuisine by advance reservation.  There is a billiards room, a cozy salon with a large fireplace, and a hostess who speaks French, English, Dutch and German.  She looks forward to welcoming guests from the world over.

    Please return to our site in a few weeks to pay an online visit to this lovely château.

    [Photo © 2010 Château du Bois Noir.  All rights reserved.]

    Armagnac at Château de Pomiro

    Perhaps you didn't know, but Château de Pomiro in the Gascony region of southwest France sits amid acres of vines from which the Château Pomiro appellation of Armagnac brandy is produced.  Armagnac (distilled once) came before Cognac (distilled twice), and Armagnac is a lighter and less alcoholic brandy from the Armagnac region southeast of Bordeaux, while Cognac is only produced in the town of Cognac north of Bordeaux.

    Château de PomiroChâteau de Pomiro's vines also produce Floc, a wonderful apéritif ~ a specialty of the Gers region of southwest France. 

    The château is designated one of our web site's 'green' properties, as the owners grow organic vegetables in the château's kitchen garden, collect honey produced by bees thriving on the property's acacia trees, and have delicious fresh eggs from the estate's free-range chickens.  There is also an environmentally-friendly swimming pool treated with ultra violet light for purification.

    Of course, the wine cellar provides a selection of local and regional wines and Armagnac.  So whether you are a guest at Château de Pomiro interested in Armagnac production and tastings, or you are looking for an environmentally conscious property for your next vacation in France, do consider this beautiful little château with all it has to offer.

    [Photo © 2010 Château de Pomiro.  All rights reserved.]

    Château de la Barre
    Special Offers

    Château de la Barre

    The warm and welcoming Château de la Barre

    There is something for everyone at Château de la Barre in the beautiful little Loir Valley.

    Perhaps you want to race a luxury sports car ~ a Lamborghini or Ferrari ~ on the track at Le Mans; you may enjoy a Renaissance Easter at Leonardo DaVinci's Priory; or, perhaps, you would like to take advantage of a Heritage Highlights package this year.  Stay at Château de la Barre, and choose from so many exciting ways to experience France!

    Of course, French immersion classes, garden tours, cuisine and wine appreciation, and more are offered at this fine château.  Keep in mind that you can enjoy bed and breakfast accommodations at the château or rent one of their two wonderful apartments in Le Cottage by the week.

    Do visit our Special Offers page for details of all the offerings at Château de la Barre.  Make this year's visit to France very special!

    [Photo credit:  © 2009 - 2010 Cold Spring Press.  All rights reserved.]

      Villes et Villages de France

     . . . we hope to tempt you to visit these marvelous places
    when you are roaming through the French countryside.

    Saint-Pierre d'Albigny, Savoie. © 2007 - 2010 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.
     The Church of Saint-Pierre d'Albigny, Savoie

    This delightful town is just a brief walk from Château des Allues in the Savoie.  The church bell tower can be seen for miles, and from the château it stands out against a backdrop of the local mountains.

    The church dates back to the 14th century, and was enlarged in 1768.  It is said that it received the Holy Thorns in 1803, brought back to Saint-Pierre d'Albigny by Jacques I of Miolans from Palestine in the 15th century. (The thorns were stolen from the church at the end of the 20th century.) The current bell tower dating from 1926 replaced the original erected in 1830.  Worth seeing are the superb paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries inside the church. 

    The village is charming and peaceful, and we not only recommend that you visit, but we suggest you consider spending a few nights at Château des Allues where you will enjoy lovely guest rooms, a friendly and welcoming host, and superb meals.

    [Photo credit:  © 2007 - 2010 Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved.]

    Congratulations to Domaine

    Ployez-Jacquemart vineyardsOnce again, there is mention in The Wine Spectator (December 31 - January 15 issue) of Domaine Ployez-Jacquemart's fine Champagne.  The Tasting Report rated its 2000 Brut Champagne a 90! 

    We had the pleasure of spending two nights in the Domaine's chambres d'hôtes in October, just after the harvest, and enjoyed a tour of their production facilities. [See our last newsletter for more about our stay.]

    It's always nice to see wine and Champagne producers, who are also members of au Château, receive well-deserved recognition in respected industry publications.  Our congratulations to Laurence Ployez!

    [Photo credit:  Cold Spring Press © 2009 - 2010.  All rights reserved.]

    In a Balloon over Château de la Vigne . . .

    Montgolfier balloon in the CantalWhat could be more exciting than floating over the French countryside in a hot air balloon?  After all, it was France's Montgolfier brothers who invented the hot air balloon, so this has to be the perfect French experience.

    If you simply want to spend a few nights at the marvelous medieval Château de la Vigne to enjoy the ambiance, the fine cuisine and the stunning countryside, why not have a hot air balloon ride included on your itinerary provided by Montgolfier Salers? 

    Or, perhaps you are planning a family get together where a hot air balloon ride would become the highlight of the event!  The proprietors of Château de la Vigne, Anne and Bruno de la Tour, can make it all happen.

    Contact us for details and to ask questions at  We look forward to working with you so that you can go 'up, up and away' in a beautiful balloon!

    Montgolfier balloon in the Cantal

    [Photo credit:  Montgolfier Salers / Château de la Vigne © 2010.  All rights reserved.]

    Easy Recipe:   Mediterranean Lentil Soup

    Try this hearty soup on a cold winter day.

    You will need:  1 cup of lentils, 6 cups of water, 1 sliced onion, 2 garlic cloves (peeled and chopped), 1 carrot (finely diced), 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 bay leaf.

    Rinse the lentils.  In a large pot, simmer the lentils in the water with the onion, garlic, carrots, olive oil and bay leaf for one hour.  Discard the bay leaf. 

    [Optional:  you can add a can of diced tomatoes to the finished soup, and heat for another 5 minutes to make a tomato lentil soup.]

    Your soup is done!  Serve with crusty French bread.  Bon appétit!

      We hope you have enjoyed au Château News.
    If you have,  please forward it to friends and 
    encourage them to subscribe.  It's FREE!

    Answer to Quiz 100 - Where Are We?  from our November/December issue:

    The Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris was the correct answer, and we had one 
    winner from over a dozen correct entries. This is actually the grave of Charles Floquet 
    and his wife Hortense Kestner Floquet.  He was the 55th Prime Minister of France.
    Thank you all for your participation.

    Disclaimer: Cold Spring Press, au Château© and/or any persons associated with either organization do not take any responsibility for errors and/or omissions in any edition of au Château News© and no guarantees are given or implied with regard to the contents of any au Château News©.   The disclaimer on the au Château © web site at, applies in its entirety to all au Château News© editions.  Cold Spring Press and au Château ©  take no responsibility for the contents of any web sites to which links are provided on our site or in any editions of au Château News.  Subscribers receive this newsletter because they have requested to be on our Opt-In mailing list.  To have your email address removed, simply send an email with 'Unsubscribe' in the Subject line to
    Our address is Cold Spring Press, P O Box 26098, San Diego California USA 92196-0098.

    © 2000-2010 au Château - Cold Spring Press.  All Rights Reserved