Spittoons & Bouchons, Part II

Following our visit to the Montpeyroux Coopérative Artisanale, we wanted to check out some of the independent wine growers in town, les Domaines. Our friend, the dear Professeur Tryphon Tournesol* led the way. We bravely followed his lead from the Coopérative through the ancient village.

17th century covered market/meeting hall in the main square of Montpeyroux
The hall’s shadow created by “les génoises”

In this case, “Génoises” isn’t referencing people from Genoa, Italy, but the tiles overhanging the edge of a roof on the street side of buildings. In the olden days, wealth in Montpeyroux was measured in roof tiles. Yes, in sun-backed tuiles de toit. The layers upon layers of tiles, which formed the roof overhang over the street façade of a building, are called génoises. They were considered an indication of commercial well being and thus ones standing in the community. The owners had to be careful, though, anything more than five layers was adjudged ‘gauche’ or ‘show-off’ by the community at large.

An ancient olive tree

From the market square, we walked up the main thoroughfare which was unfortunately under construction right in front of our destination which created quite a pedestrian challenge.


We were, however, more preoccupied with wines than toiles, and after climbing helter-skelter through the new drainage ditches, we eagerly entered the premises of M. Sylvain Fadat, the ‘Domaine de Aupilhac’ – after our leader, Tryphon Tournesol first stumbled into the Fadat family living room next door to their business premises. Oops. 
Professor Tryphon Tournesol and his wife, the delightful opera lover Bianca Castafiore* and a mustachioed unknown character in blue were focusing intently on Björk’s* introduction of the characteristics of the grapes grown in the domain, all of us anticipating the tasting of nectar.


Since there’s much spitting in spittoons going on now, we have to avert our eyes
Björk, our tasting guide, pulled a lot of corks, …

while the resident spider watched

Getting ready to depart, after concluding the tasting with purchases of bottles of delicious wine created from cinsault grapes, a wine we had hitherto not known as a monoculture, a logistics question arose. How to safely carry our booty or bounty through the construction site out front? Björk suggested leaving through the winery’s loading dock and back gate. Thus she guided us through a warren of caves (cellars) filled with wine in all of its production stages.


Magnum and Jéroboam sized bottles




The new crop is coming along nicely!

Orthonyms withheld to preserve dignity & honor. It was, after all, a wine tasting]

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