Chalotte Mace, wine tourism manager in the vineyards of Coteaux du Layon
Charlotte, a master’s degree in gastronomy and wine tourism, has returned to her native region to develop the wine tourism of Château Soucherie belonging to Mr and Mme Béguinot who put their hearts into the restoration of this magnificent vineyard of 28 hectares to make it a luxurious establishment in the countryside and overlooking the Layon Valley. Formerly from the industrial world (they launched the Popote brand, a range of organic baby products), they turned to luxury hotels with 2 establishments in Paris: La Maison Favart, a 4-star hotel in the 2nd district of Paris and Narcisse Blanc, luxury hotel & Spa in the 7th district before arriving on this land of Anjou where they restored the Château Soucherie where they wanted to offer all the comfort and luxury they like to highlight in their establishments. Their clientele is also quite Parisian and English-speaking (excluding the post COVID-19 period of course!)
Atypical fact in the region, the majority of the vines surround the Château and allow to produce wines with many appellation names of which the best known are the Savennières, a dry white wine most appreciated on the estate, and Les Coteaux du Layon, a sweet wine appreciated by connoisseurs:
- AOC Anjou White and Red
- AOC Anjou Villages
- AOC Chaume
- AOC Coteaux du Layon
- AOC Rosé de Loire
- AOC Savennières
“Madame Béguinot decorated the cottages and guest rooms in the same way that she decorated her Parisian hotels: with taste and respecting the spirit of the Château where you can stay overnight. Exposed beams, ancient tapestry, antique furniture, etc. 2 places are to rent: the Maison des Amis offering 4 double rooms la Layon, la Savennières, la Chaume and la Chenin. None of them have a television to allow you a complete disconnection. And the Maison des Vignes, a gîte that can accommodate up to 10 people and has its private swimming pool and fireplace where you can relax after a day exploring the region. The spirit: quality, luxury and classicism. Angers is at 25 minutes, Saumur at 45 minutes and the banks of the Loire which are not to be missed at 10 minutes. You can also enjoy your visit to taste the Grand Cru Quart de Chaume that will replace with delight any dessert.”
Events not to miss by Charlotte Mace
“2 events are a must for me: the first Accroche Cœur, a street festival taking place at the beginning of September in Angers and combining all street arts: music, dance, theatre, circus, etc. A moment when the city of Angers becomes the scene of many popular activities. The second is the Anjou Vélo Vintage, the retro bike ride of July: an event where all participants must find their vintage style (even the bike must be vintage!) and travel the roads of Anjou by bike to discover its jewels. Different routes are possible, the picnic is included, a real moment of relaxation and good mood that we can also just watch to realize how the spirit has no limit in creative matter!”
My favorite restaurants by Charlotte Mace
“We distribute to each of our guests a list of restaurants that we particularly like at the estate. Among these I highly recommend Le Chenin in Savennières for its market, seasonal cuisine and its location next to a church of the 10th century. And then the restaurant La Corniche in Saint Aubin de Luigné is also an address that I like to recommend for its fresh and quality products at a very reasonable rate. But you know in terms of gastronomy at home, it is rather on the wine that we will focus! In terms of gastronomy we have little known dish, it’s terrible! You will find the rillauds of Anjou of course but it is rather something that you buy at the butcher shop or that you taste at the market with a glass of red wine of Anjou!
At the restaurant you can find the gouline however, a pie with cream, mushrooms, rillauds, in short everything you need to make a good nap after the meal. And for dessert a glass of Thatch is typical! You can also taste the honey of the estate, it is the first year that we produce it. We have 5 beehives on site and plant honeybees (plants that bees love) to develop the aromas of our 100% homemade honey.”
Places to visit in the Loire Valley by Charlotte Mace
“Hiking is one of the most enjoyable ways to enjoy our region either along the banks of the Loire or in our Layon Valley. We offer many walks around the estate to enjoy this pleasant countryside and work elsewhere with Au coeur des sensations offer our guests the possibility to ride on an electric scooter in our vineyards. This is very pleasing!
Beyond our Castle, I invite our guests to go to the orientation table of Moulin Guérin to be located in our region and enjoy a beautiful panorama on the plateau of Mauges and the Layon Valley. There were many mills in the area once, this one was restored by the commune of Saint-Aubin de Luigné and you can enjoy there a gazebo and this exceptional panorama.
Then for the historical side, I advise them to go to Pont Barré, a natural reserve south of Angers overlooking the vineyard and which is also below a gate of the Vendée Militaire where took place a great battle in 1793. Finally the Peninsula of Béhuard is to visit: a small town of character where it is good to stroll and take his time. You will find guiguettes on the edge of the Loire, it is a very typical place and full of charm.”
Text : Bacchus. Pictures: Château Soucherie